Schwartz: 12 Sentences – Let’s Watch Hawkeye Football In 2020 Edition

May 24, 2020

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

Let’s have this conversation. It’s a big one, so we’re supersizing the Sunday Ten Sentences column to 12, just for today.

1. OK, we’ve put this off long enough, but it’s time to start talking about what Hawkeye football – hell, all of college football – should look like this fall.

2. First, some ground rules, including: 1) No party politics, because health is a health issue, not a political party issue; 2) Honesty is a must, because if we’re not going to be honest with each other, why bother talking in the first place; and 3) Acknowledgment that we all love the Hawkeyes equally, and just because one of us might recommend canceling college football in 2020 doesn’t mean that person is a communist, or worse, anti-Hawkeye.

3. (I am not going to recommend we skip college football in 2020.)

4. Another thing to acknowledge is that it’s May, and we’re still three months from the scheduled start of college football season, and if we’ve learned anything these last few months it’s that our situation can change on a dime, which means we still don’t fully know the right course of action because the September situation is not 100 percent clear – and come to think of it, even our present May situation is not 100 percent clear, so let’s just do our best.

5. I want you to do something for me: Close your eyes and picture the last time you were at Kinnick Stadium or any college football stadium, or just a crowded high school football game – or even a movie theater; try to imagine what it felt like spatially, like, did you have a lot of elbow room, were you able to sit down regularly, when the Hawkeyes scored did you have to get out of your seat to find someone to high five because they were too far away from you?

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6. Was it so quiet you could hear a pin drop, almost like you were in an empty library, or were the people around you screaming, inadvertently spitting, cheering on the Hawks, getting on the refs, booing the opposing team at their highest possible volume?

7. Was everyone at Kinnick sober and making smart choices, and if we put all 70,000 of their names in a hat and drew one out randomly, would you trust this person with your life or your grandpa’s life before knowing which name was drawn?

8. Because here is a list of who I trust to take proper safety precautions: the University of Iowa Athletic Department; the Hawkeye coaching staff; most of the Hawkeye football players; the executives, producers, and other employees of ESPN, Big Ten Network, and Fox Sports who we need to broadcast the games, and whose jobs depend on their staying as healthy as possible.

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9. I trust these parties because they have too much money at stake to be reckless.

10. And here is a list of who I don’t trust: 70,000 fans working independently of one another, some of whom don’t even know they’re sick, some of whom might not feel well but spent $75 on a ticket and they’re determined to get their money’s worth; the nicest, most well-meaning people in the world who, despite their good hearts and intentions, I have to sit 2 centimeters from for the 3-hour game, not to mention the dude 2 inches in front of me, the drunk guy 2 inches behind me, and all the thousands of people I have to fight my way through to get to the nasty bathroom; plus the one dummy who slips through the cracks, sneezes once, and infects eight other people.

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11. As of Saturday night nearly 1 out of every 200 Iowans have been infected with COVID-19, a virus we still don’t know much about, and we’re approaching 500 Iowans dead.

12. Keep the damn fans out of stadiums in 2020; as long as we can watch our football from home, on our television screens and devices, we’ll be fine.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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