Sacrifice, in the name of football

Come to watch Clay Travis get dunked on.  Stay for this absolutely perfect assessment of how the college football pooch got screwed because when it comes to major issues, nobody likes making hard choices.

Ben Sasse wrote to the Big Ten Conference arguing in favor of holding the season by saying that “life is about trade-offs.” And that’s true.

But to get football the trade-offs needed to be made on our end. We needed to be wearing masks. We needed to sacrifice the economy in the short-term to crush the curve. We needed a government that took the virus seriously instead of listening to sports talk phonies who saw an opportunity to get famous by telling people what they wanted to hear.

Or alternatively we needed to have made a trade off where we treat these athletes like the minor-league professionals they are, allowed them to collectively bargain, and so were able to put them in a bubble away from the other students. Instead of pretending that the star quarterback at Florida State is a “student-athlete” in the exact same way the captain of FSU’s fencing team is.

That’s it. Those are the options and the trade offs that were, once upon a time, available to us. Everything else is forcing a kid whose grandma has already contracted COVID to put himself, his family, and his community at risk for no pay so that we can have fun on Saturdays and pretend that America is doing just fine.

We’re in the midst of a generational public health crisis.  It didn’t sneak up on us.  We’ve had months to face it.  We’ve had obvious decisions to make if we wanted a college football season.  Instead, it seems like all many of us have come up with is to blame the Chinese and/or the media and tell the players you only live once.

Pandemic life these days isn’t about trade-offs.  It’s about false choices we convince ourselves aren’t false.  And we’ll deserve what we get as a result.



Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

66 responses to “Sacrifice, in the name of football

  1. Alonzo Jazzberry

    Every other industrialized country can have sports. Every other industrialized country can have all of their schools open.

    The US alone cannot, because some 30% of our population is bound to a bizarre political cult that has decided it’s mostly a hoax to hurt their president, and consequently make little effort to reduce transmissions efficiency and certainly do not recognize the reality of tradeoffs. That’s the difference between R < 1.0 and R > 1.0, which means we’ll be the only nation drowning in the virus indefinitely until herd effects or vaccination arrives.

    We did this to ourselves.

    Liked by 17 people

    • Ozam

      So how I wish GTP could revert back to all things UGA football….but I get it.

      Your last sentence says it all. Since day 1, it has ALWAYS been the case for every country that they will drown “in the virus indefinitely until herd effects or vaccination arrives.” That is the bottom line.

      Calling half of the country part of bizarre political cult is exactly the type of name calling that will lead to the “their” President getting reelected.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Alonzo Jazzberry

        Since day 1, it has ALWAYS been the case for every country that they will drown “in the virus indefinitely until herd effects or vaccination arrives.” That is the bottom line.

        They’re not. None of them are. A “major” outbreak in the EU or Asia isn’t 1/10th as bad the persistent density of infection in the US. See for yourself.

        Why? Why only us? The answer is either (a) the US is an inherently shittier, incompetent nation or (b) the US is a great nation that has gone temporarily insane.

        If acknowledging that reality makes him more likely to get re-elected, so be it. Pretending it’s not true is even worse.

        Liked by 9 people

        • Hi. I don’t know who you are but I hope you stay a while. Heh.

          Liked by 5 people

        • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

          Except, the countries in Europe you praise in many ways handled it way worse than we ever did; more in line with New York and New Jersey than Texas or Georgia.

          I think what so many people tend to miss when they make these comparisons, is that Europe is made up of mostly homogeneous populations and cultures which are far easier to control under central governments that are built to control them.

          In the United States, we are literally united individual States. We not only have the most heterogeneous population and culture on Earth, we also have something called the 10th Amendment which is not easily dispensed with, and shouldn’t be, even in a situation like this.

          Liked by 1 person

          • For your sake (AND OURS!) I truly wish your job returns soon.

            Our central (FEDERAL) government did practically nothing while all of the relevant information from other countries was being compiled. If you don’t consider the federal government uniquely disposed to handle national defense & natural or manmade disasters then what’s it for exactly?

            Liked by 3 people

          • Alonzo Jazzberry

            Right, so you are in “the US is just inherently shitty and incompetent” camp.

            Putting aside that Europe itself is incredible culturally heterogeneous, again, it’s not just Europe. It’s Asia – Japan and South Korea. It’s Australia. It’s New Zealand. They are all more or less as free, liberal and independent as the US, and every one of them are indefinitely crushing the virus down to levels we can only dream of.

            Any dense area that got hit in February got hit hard. If you want to pat yourself on the back for living in GA and not NY, go ahead, but now we’re the epicenter of failure on earth, and it’s becoming ever clearer that it’s a permanent state of affairs.

            Liked by 4 people

            • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

              You’re speaking of distinctions without noting any differences, and that’s your prerogative, however, those differences mean everything in this case. All these countries you praise, again, have cultures and populations that are far more homogenous than ours. You can deny that if you want, but they are. They are also countries that do not have our constitution or rules for governance. They all have strong centralized governments that we as a country have purposefully rejected as a way of governance. That does play into how we respond.

              And guess what? Even given all that, our response is not factually that much worse (or better) than theirs. We cannot get into a endless debate here on statistics, so I won’t, but there is a reason why the response was left up to the States. You can disagree, and that’s your right as an American, but I have to wonder why so many people have a certain perspective about executive overreach would then want that here. At least be consistent.

              Liked by 1 person

              • The reason “the decision” was left to the States was so that this entire hapless episode could be turned into a political football.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

                  Or, and see if you can follow me here, that’s exactly how our country is set up to be governed by the Constitution which was ratified by every state.

                  Or your thing. Whichever.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • The part about overwhelming natural disaster response just whizzed right by your ear again. Keep marching, HOM. 🙂


                • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

                  No, I didn’t, it’s just a poor analogy. The question on whether it applies in the same way doesn’t apply, because it doesn’t. There’s no extensive property damage, no immediate need to resettle entire swaths of the population, no billions of dollars that the state cannot cover. It’s not even close to being the same thing.

                  Liked by 1 person

          • MagnusDawgus

            Ok, fine, we can roughly equate New York to Italy – a miserable start to dealing with the virus, including waiting a least one week to late to mandate a shutdown. But then crushing it to the point where NYC is probably the safest city to visit in the US.

            Where does that put Georgia, Florida, and Texas, that watched all of this unfold in NY and NJ and relied on wishful thinking that it would just go away?


            • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

              Is this the CASES!!! pivot that the media made in June? Because that dog don’t hunt.

              Liked by 2 people

              • MagnusDawgus

                What? At the beginning of July, Texas had about 2,000 deaths from COVID. It now has 8,500. Florida reported an additional 271 deaths today. Georgia reported its highest daily death toll thus far this past on Friday. Viruses don’t respect federalism.


                • Texas, Florida, and Georgia, combined, have 66% as many deaths as New York despite having 314% of the population.

                  Now yes, I do agree that New York has achieved, or is very close to achieving, burnout. But that’s just a result of the outbreak being severe early on and many of the vulnerable dying off. I fail to see the success story here.

                  Liked by 2 people

            • My view is that it’s not even wishful thinking, but rather willful ignorance.


          • Alonzo Jazzberry

            Hey, you’ve won. Whatever you have to tell yourself to justify it, you’re philosophy rules the day, and now there will be no football, all schools in the state will likely be closed within a month, small businesses will die by the thousands, and temporary layoffs become permanent as unemployment hardens around 10%.

            While the rest of rich world gets on with life.



            • It’s always been the “Plan” — then it becomes Blue State v. Red State electoral warfare, goaded on by whatever force is making the decisions in the W.H.


            • Would your plan to be to shut down the economy in order to save small businesses? You do know that the GDP declined at a 33% annual rate last quarter in your scenario that wasn’t nearly severe enough?


              • Alonzo Jazzberry

                Would your plan to be to shut down the economy in order to save small businesses?

                Do you see any countries in the EU shutting down their economies any more? Targeted, localized shutdowns can be helpful in quashing outbreaks, but once you have the virus smashed down, it’s really not that hard to keep it beat.

                Honestly, I suspect the US is screwed as long as the Trump holds such unequivocal dominion over the Republican party. The problem is the behavior of individual human beings free basing rightwing radio every day and Fox News every night. Masks are politicized. Freaking masks.

                The fact that it is these very same Americans bitching about schools being closed and losing college football is beyond frustrating.

                Liked by 1 person

          • Sam Johnson

            This “cultural homogeneity” claim is bogus. Some homogeneous countries did well some did not. Clearly then, this cannot be the determining factor. You claim to rely on data, where is your data? Anecdotes of cherry picked countries? However you measure this “variable”, what is the correlation coefficient? Got to be less than 0.5. On this claim, you can excuse the US from anything – we’re exceptional.

            Actually, we are exceptional. We are the richest country by a wide margin with (probably) the best health care in the world. Dozens of top research univerisities. Our scientists and researchers literally wrote the book on pandemic response for many countries. We had at least two weeks more notice over European countries. Yet, you and others are satisfied with our, at best, mediocre response. “We’re not great, but at least we are in the middle.” Hip, hip, hooray!

            Why don’t we have an exceptional response befitting our great country? Why do we still have no prospect of getting this under some level of control like almost every other advanced democracy? You think maybe it has at least something to do with the complete absence of a coherent plan from the White House?

            Liked by 5 people

            • It’s ironic you brought up correlation. The correlation coefficient of lock downs to positive health outcomes is around 0.05. Which is to say, no correlation at all.

              But is that going to stop people from demanding we lock down even more in response to any new cases that pop up? Of course not. Because that means we can’t blame the president or the governor. Easing a lock down is “human sacrifice” to those of us secure in our virtue signaling. It’s not about data. It’s about feelings.

              Liked by 2 people

            • gurkhadawg

              Right, we need leadership from the people who watch violent mobs burn and loot once great cities. Their plan is to stand around and watch, doing nothing. Give me a break.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Joshua Walker

    “We’re in the midst of a generational public health crisis. It didn’t sneak up on us. We’ve had months to face it. We’ve had obvious decisions to make if we wanted a college football season. Instead, it seems like all many of us have come up with is to blame the Chinese and/or the media and tell the players you only live once.

    Pandemic life these days isn’t about trade-offs. It’s about false choices we convince ourselves aren’t false. And we’ll deserve what we get as a result.“

    Thank you Senator. Common sense takes like this are the reason I’ve been visiting here for over a decade. It’s the lack of the same common sense that causes me to rarely ever comment. Thanks for the work you do. Hoped we get a football season. Go Dawgs!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

    I don’t think Tim Miller means what he thinks he means, to bastardize a quote from one of my favorite movies. Everyone who tries to dunk on Travis about this brings up his comments from March, which were based on the numbers provided by China and WHO that EVERYONE in the media then used to make their own almost exactly the same predictions as Travis did. WaPo, CNN, NYT, MSNBC, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, the AJC… they all said we were overreacting as a country (and some even said it was racist) for restricting travel from China and that this was no big deal. They were all wrong because the information was wrong.

    Among all those entities, Clay Travis is the only one I’ve seen admit he was wrong and apologize for believing China and WHO. All the other media orgs blew right past that part, and just went right into their pivot without acknowledging they were initially wrong. You want to know why I at least respect Travis (even though we disagree on a lot of things, including that awful Trump interview)? Because of that. It was a simple thing, to admit he was wrong. Since then, he hasn’t been a “happy talker” which is Tim Miller’s ad hominem code for “doesn’t follow my preferred anecdotal narrative,” he’s been all about the data regardless of where it may lead.

    When Tim Miller leads off a piece where he “dunks on” Clay Travis for making the same mistake everyone else did, but doesn’t acknowledge Travis’s apology while ignoring all the other media orgs who never did, then I can’t take what he says seriously. He didn’t dunk, he bricked.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. ASEF

    Nothing to add to that, really.

    You were warning back in March that treating this like a public health issue would raise the prospects on college football enormously and that treating it like a PR problem would dim them considerably.

    Thanks for being a rational voice in between competing hyperbole and denial.


  5. Info Info

    Sigh. I don’t think anyone in thier right mind is trying to force a kid to play. Certainly not in the SEC. Many voices who do know what they are talking about or good with moving forward with a season to include Ron Coursen who is perhaps the most respected trainer in the business. He would not put players at risk under any circumstances.
    I do believe this is political on many levels. Why is it OK for rioters to burn down their cities with NO repercussions or concern about COVID; In Nevada ok for Casinos etc… to be open but no more than 50 in a Church and Wal Marts and other areas to be open but no College football whose population arguably has better monitoring, precautions and care.

    I do wish this blog would return to all things UGA football…minus this stuff…

    Liked by 4 people

    • HirsuteDawg

      “We’ve seen that in other countries — sadly not in the United States — where good infection control and good regimented management have allowed groups to co-exist with this virus really well.”

      IMHO, good regimented management has been sadly lacking.


  6. DawgFlan

    We have met the enemy and they are us.

    The narrative is not the bogeyman
    The media is not the bogeyman
    China is not the bogeyman
    Democrats are not the bogeyman
    Protesters are not the bogeyman
    Even Trump is ultimately not the bogeyman

    We the people all saw this thing explode in NYC and other dense areas in the Spring and faced the choice:

    1) Make it personal, treat it seriously, take responsibility, and with reason, human decency and common sense as our guide collectively do our best to slow and reduce its impact.

    2) Make it about “others”, treat it cynically, and deflect by scapegoating others.

    Compared to other countries, yes our politicians have displayed a stunning lack of leadership and moral courage, but they are symptoms of our national idiocracy, not the cause.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. B10 is OFFICIALLY toast as per 10 minutes ago…


  8. Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

    2020 New World Order:

    Ohio State and Penn State schedule with the ACC.

    Nebraska and Iowa schedule with the Big-12.

    The Pac-12 can fuck off and no one cares about Michigan.


  9. willypmd

    No mention of 100,000 of non-masked protesters/rioters in the streets for weeks.

    How anyone can determine whether it was that or re-opening that caused the spike is beyond me.

    Everything is political these days especially this blog

    Liked by 1 person

    • If there’s anything that saddens me it’s how a national public health crisis turned into a political fight.

      That ain’t on me, brother. I just want college football, which looks unlikely I’m gonna get.


      • willypmd

        I’m not blaming you for the national discourse, just the blog discourse.

        Again, I find your football coverage insightful and as evidence based as a college football perspective can be.

        I totally get your viewpoint and I’m not entirely convinced it’s not accurate, just expected/hoped for a more nuanced discussion.


    • Russ



      • Got Cowdog

        I saw a lot of masks during the protests. Even one of the guys that got run over trying to stop traffic was wearing a mask. Probably should have worn a helmet too …


  10. sniffer

    I know how good it feels to be righteous, Senator, but really? It’s Tuesday. Couldn’t you wait to throw the red meat until tomorrow?


  11. 123fakest

    I think we should just rename “football games” and call them “peaceful protests.”

    The virus obviously does not show up to “peaceful protests.”

    Liked by 2 people

  12. “the star quarterback at Florida State is a “student-athlete” in the exact same way the captain of FSU’s fencing team is”. I think this is absolutely true. No one questioned this in the 70’s and football brought in a lot more money than fencing even then. The real problem is now many think they deserve a piece of someone else’s pie just because their sitting at the table or even set the table for that matter. The real differences between then and now are the dollars involved are more, more media coverage, and social media has made most everyone feel entitled to give their opinions on most everything.Otherwise it is the same as when Ray Donaldson, Jimmy Womack, Jeff Pyburn and the rest of that bunch played.


  13. Joe Blow

    Ya know. Now the “student athletes” get to be students. No 30 hours of football a week. Lots of time for organic chemistry, beer drinking and laughter.