“What the hell are we going to do every Saturday this fall?”

Here’s another story about life in college towns across the country facing no college football — and, more particularly, no college football fans — this fall.

“This is easily going to be the most impactful in towns that are in this sweet spot, where the smaller the town is, the higher the [game] attendance is,” said Adie Tomer, a fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institute. “When you’ve got a stadium that’s holding 80,000, a hundred thousand-plus, and only 20 to 25,000 are students, those are massive economic impacts.”

Alumni travel from all over the country to return to their alma maters on Saturdays in the fall, bringing not just kids to bore with old stories, but also dollars that stay in town.

“It’s the lifeblood of this community,” said Happy Valley Adventure Bureau president and CEO Fritz Smith of Penn State football. “It draws people back to the community in huge numbers. Football is probably the single biggest economic driver in the community.”  Smith estimates that the economic impact of Penn State home games is $70 million to $80 million apiece, and that loss — on top of the dollars that vanished when students left town in mid-March — is catastrophic.

“This was another kick in the shins,” Smith said. “We’ve gone cold turkey on sports for some time now, and everybody was looking forward to fall football. Now that’s been yanked away from us, and there’s a lot of, ‘What are we going to do?’ ”

“The economic impact will be significant,” Tomer said. “Most critically, there’s no replacement for what’s being lost. Those games aren’t coming back. There will be an absolute concrete loss of sales to a full suite of game-serving businesses.” There’s the obvious loss to dining, retail and lodging businesses, but also other “off-the-books” businesses: Front yards turned into parking lots, churches and Scout troops selling lemonade and barbecue, all the small elements of a full game-day experience.

It certainly sucks, but there’s a part of me that wonders how many of these same people lamenting the loss of business now have been dismissing mask wearing and going to bars and restaurants without social distancing in mind over the spring and summer.

104 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The Body Is A Temple

104 responses to ““What the hell are we going to do every Saturday this fall?”

  1. dawgtired7

    “…there’s a part of me that wonders how many of these same people lamenting the loss of business now have been dismissing mask wearing and going to bars and restaurants without social distancing in mind over the spring and summer.”

    Yep, people didn’t want to follow the suggested protocols. Now they are whining about the results of their indifference. I’m not saying it would have made much difference but now we won’t know. You have to follow the process to know if it works.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We do know. There are states and countries who were diligent about doing all the recommendations. Those areas fared no better than the ones that were more lax.

      Like

      • CB

        Most countries fared much better than the US. You can almost count on one hand the ones that have fared worse.

        Like

        • And of the ones who did worse, most locked down early and strictly enforced it. And some of the areas that did little had no effect. Despite the narrative, there is literally no correlation.

          Like

          • Sam Johnson

            So masks and social distancing don’t work, leadership has no effect and lockdowns don’t either. I think I understand your views on these. We do see wide variation among countries in infection and fatality rates. Some countries have bubble free sports. Is it your view that this is all random? Luck? What is it you think we should be doing (if anything)?

            Like

            • I think luck and random variation plays a large role. Some countries that have fewer civil liberties and much more disciplined populations (bowing rather than shaking hands) have been more successful at quashing the virus. Some countries in Europe have simply achieved burnout despite lots of intervention to try to flatten the curve. Being an island also helps greatly. Masks might help a bit. They might not.

              I take issue with people who have no sense of context that, while the virus is serious, it isn’t any more dangerous than a bad cold or flu to young healthy people. I also disagree with the “it’s so easy” folks who believe that, if we had just worn masks and not gotten haircuts for a couple of weeks in the spring, everything would have been fine.

              As for what we should have done, or should do now, protect the weak. Have strict protocols for nursing homes and hospitals. Encourage washing hands and social distancing. And then live our lives without paralyzing fear. Recognize that lock downs may kill more than they save through suicide, overdoses, and delayed medical treatment for other diseases. And recognize that “non-essential” people (like bartenders and waitresses) still deserve to make a living in a world with a virus with a 99.4% survivability rate.

              Thanks for asking.

              Liked by 3 people

              • Sam Johnson

                Where we disagree then (1) while masks, lockdowns, etc have not succeeded everywhere, no country has controlled the virus without them (necessary but not sufficient)(2) covid is more infectious and more deadly than other viruses and (3) the continuing unknowns (eg long term effects) warrant more caution. I do agree that luck/randomness is a factor. Thanks for your answer.

                Liked by 2 people

  2. sniffer

    Somebody dig up the scene from “Jaws” where the mayor flips out over closing the beach on the fourth of July. Yeah, that would be a visual we could relate to today.

    Like

    • argondawg

      This was the visual that threw me “Scout troops selling lemonade and barbecue,” I mean if your goal is to say somethine that screams of Apple pie American this is your statement but no damn self respecting barbecue connoisseur is getting their pig from the scouts on game day. I am sorry my brain typically focuses on the wrong things.

      Like

  3. practicaldawg

    If only they had just followed the clear recommendation to wear masks from the leadership of this country and the CDC from the beginning. Oh wait, they didn’t get that guidance.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. It doesn’t follow, that the people who worry about losing businesses are the same people who don’t wear masks.

    I ran a small business, in a town somewhat smaller than State College, for over 30 years. I can relate in a basic way to the people who right now are losing sleep night after night wondering how they’ll take care of their families without the income lost because of no football on Saturdays. Not to say the games need to be played, because the threat of the virus continues to be high; but lives are seriously affected when businesses close, it’s not just an inconvenience to the business owners.

    Try being in your late 50’s and being a job-hunter at the same time, too young for Social Security, with no experience except in the business you’ve been running for so long, in a job market like we have now. Happened to me in 2008, it’s happening to a lot of people in 2020.

    Liked by 12 people

  5. Spell Dawg

    I don’t know about the business owners, but I’ll confirm the vast majority of my social circle who mock mask-wearing are also college football fans who are now outraged at the idea they could lose their precious Fall distraction.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. siskey

    Downtown Athens has changed a lot over the last 4-5 years with new larger businesses moving in and small businesses moving out or going under. I am not looking forward to seeing what will be left after the football season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

      One of my single biggest worries out of all of this.

      Like

    • practicaldawg

      I was there last weekend and it was eerily quiet. Even went into a few bars (with mask on). I don’t know how they are even open. The bartenders mostly just chat amongst themselves. Of course, several places weren’t even open.

      I think we are at the tipping point in the year when many small businesses will turn off the lights. Those that have limped to this point are just out of gas. No reason to continue borrowing. It’s better to fold it up, and re-emerge in brighter times.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        With students literally a week or two away from getting back on campus, I’m hopeful that can get them through the winter.

        Like

  7. junkyardawg41

    To turn your wondering around a little, I wonder how many of the players who tested positive for COVID are lamenting the loss of football now have been dismissing mask wearing and going to bars and restaurants without social distancing in mind over the spring and summer.

    Like

  8. Biggen

    How is it that Hawaii, with the most stringent mask laws in the country, has a massive spike of contagion going on? Riddle me that one…

    Masks are nothing more than glorified placebos worn by those that think they have some “control” over their life. Unless you are walking around with a hermetically sealed respirator, they don’t do jack all.

    Jesus I’m tired of hearing about fucking masks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PTC DAWG

      Don’t confuse people with this shit.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This isn’t the playpen buddy nor is it the place to spread misinformation like it’s factual.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Previously Paul

      Like many places Hawaii was doing great. Then people started going out, congregating in large groups and quit wearing masks. And now the virus is spiking. Pretty simple. We’ve seen this story repeated over and over. Look it up. Those are the facts.

      Liked by 4 people

    • FlyingPeakDawg

      Wow. Let’s try this again. Your mask is to protect others not you. Their mask is to protect you. Combined with social distancing together we reduce risk of spreading an airborne virus. You’re being asked to protect your fellow citizens by slowing the rate of spread to let hospitals manage the caseload and researchers time to find solutions. No one Is claiming masks are a cure and no one is asking you to wear a mask in private, but in public the plea is simply STOP BREATHING ON ME BRO!

      Jesus I’m tired of fucking stupidity over this.

      Liked by 5 people

      • awreed1979

        “Your mask is to protect others not you. Their mask is to protect you.”

        I hear this a lot and I’m confused by it. When my mother in law was fighting cancer and her immune system was compromised from treatment, she was advised by her doctor to wear a mask when out in public. I assumed at the time it was to protect her from infection due to her compromised immune system. I realize now it must have been to protect everyone else from catching her cancer. That, or somebody’s full of shit.

        Like

        • Not sure if you’re trolling or serious but;

          A mask of N95 protection or higher will protect BOTH the wearer from outside contagion and others from particles of the person wearing the mask. The problem right now is that there aren’t remotely enough N95 masks for even all the healthcare providers which leads us to…

          A cloth face covering is very effective at limiting the spread of the particles of contagion from the person wearing it.

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        • Don’t keep that mask on too long either. Or like Gohmert says, even YOU may contract the Corona…

          … or become ill from too much CO2.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Grafton

      Go back to your Qanon subreddit with that BS.

      Like

    • stoopnagle

      ^^^ the problem ^^^

      Like

    • faulknersghost

      Take a look at then masks you see in public. The majority are not N95 or better which means they don’t stop the virus from getting in or out. Now if you normally hang out where people spit when they talk, then any mask is better than nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. NotMyCrossToBear

    I quit reading at Happy Valley

    Like

  10. otto1980

    Could you imagine if Adams had taken the job?

    Like

  11. reipar1

    I might have some insight into your wonder as I am in Pennsylvania right now and I can tell you from what I’ve seen they are using masks and social distancing seriously. When you see someone without a mask it’s almost shocking. In Pittsburg people are even walking around the streets wearing them. Now in Louisville it’s a totally different story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a Pittsburghian my own self, I appreciate the 1891-1911 spelling .

      Like

      • Don in Mar-a-Lago

        One of my earlier trophy wives before I got involved in the catch, maybe release and sometimes capture “modeling” business alleges that she was from Pittsburg, Kansas, which is like a fried chicken version of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Charlie Weis because its got your Chicken Mary’s, your Chicken Annie’s, your Chicken Larry’s and a silent “h” at the end of Pittsburg

        Liked by 1 person

    • Same for Maryland. Masks required in public for the most part. Exceptions are parks and outdoor eating (while at tables), outdoor church services. It is shocking to see someone without a mask.

      And our test positivity rates, deaths, and hospitalizations have settled at very low numbers.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jack Klompus

    Another question is “How many of these business owners were/are against allowing players to make money or get paid?”

    On another note; I was sad to see no comment section on your post about the media destroying football. 😬

    Like

    • Don in Mar-a-Lago

      Granny, a highly decorated plywood repairman on a landing boat at Normandy, feels exactly the same

      Liked by 1 person

  13. As someone who owns a short-term rental in Athens, I’ll say I’ve got some concerns. Over half my revenue last year came from home football game rentals.

    From talking with a few small business owners lately around here, they’re extremely concerned with the prospect of a Fall without home football games. A large majority of the businesses downtown and around Athens see around 50% of their annual revenues come during football season.

    Liked by 2 people

    • According to a cynic who posts here periodically, the fact that 50% of revenues come from 6-7 weekends a year means your business model sucks.

      Good luck to you and Athens business owners this fall. I imagine it’s going to be choppy.

      I’m still betting on a season with no outside attendance other than player and staff families, recruits on official visits and a few extremely high dollar donors. The campus will shut down, and people (including students) who attempt to set up tailgates will be swiftly dealt with (unless you have a spot at the Bulldog Tailgate Club). I’m also betting that the Athens-Clarke County government will move to lock down restaurants and bars on game day Saturdays.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

        I plan on going to Athens and tailgating for at least one of the games. I can’t imagine I’m going to be alone.

        We need to support Athens businesses. I’ve tried to get up there at least once a month since May. I take it as a personal responsibility as a Bulldog.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Down Island Way

          Locals must support locals….cause when they see you coming thru the front door, your margarita is waiting on you…..

          Liked by 2 people

          • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

            I just don’t want the Athens I love to disappear forever, and it honestly scares the hell out of me that it will.

            Liked by 1 person

        • I think the university is going to make it extremely difficult to park and set up on campus. For those that do, people are going to be harassed by the monitors. I’m not a tailgater myself other than a calzone and a beer at DePalma’s, but I just don’t see how it’s going to be worth the effort to attempt to set up a private tailgate.

          Like

          • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

            I’m gonna try. My usual spot should be open (it’s a parking lot). My usual schedule of events is get there around 7am and set up. Then walk to Mama’s Boy for the best breakfast in the world plus buying a sack of sausage biscuits and chicken biscuits to go. Walk back to the tailgate and start the tunes. Eat the biscuits around 9:30am. Start grilling my pans of sausage and peppers around 11am. Finishing eating by noon. Then leave the tailgate to walk around Athens for a couple of hours if the game is later in the afternoon or evening. Check out Wuxtry. Hit up a couple of bars to buy drinks. Grab a slice at Little Italy’s (I know, it’s a ton of food, but I generally hate the food in Sanford Stadium so I load up before). Then back to the tailgate for a bit to rest before the game.

            If I can’t do all of that, if I can’t tailgate, I’ll still drive up to Athens to spend money in the local businesses. They can’t keep me out of town.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Down Island Way

              With all that consumption going on….a good walk is right up your alley….

              Liked by 1 person

              • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

                If you can’t enjoy a Fall Saturday in Athens, your life must be filled with problems.

                Like

                • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

                  And by “you” I don’t mean you specifically. But the generalized “you.”

                  I should have to say that, but that’s the times in which we live.

                  Like

                • DawgFlan

                  “you” can be a generalized “you” but “we” must equal the media cabal. OK.

                  Like

                • Illini84

                  Swing by White Tiger while you’re here.

                  Like

                • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

                  If I can give you all my money, I will. Happy to support any member of this community who is hurting.

                  Speaking of, Senator… I don’t know if this is the right place or the right forum or what the legal ramifications are, but we seem to have at least a few Dawgs in this community you’ve built who are small business owners or entrepreneurs. Given that, would it be possible tomorrow for you to create a post where they can describe their businesses, post website links if they have them if they can do business online, and let us know if we can help them by buying their wares?

                  I don’t have a ton of disposable income right now, but I’m sure if I can buy someone’s widget it’s money better spent for me than in other places. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who would feel that way.

                  Like

                • There was a Playpen on that subject a few months ago.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

                  Ah, okay. That’s on me for missing it or not paying enough attention at the time. I’ll go looking for it. Thanks!

                  Like

      • I’m fortunate in that my property is a guest suite that we’re fortunate not to need a majority of the year.

        Regarding your comment about “poor business model,” that’s pretty short-sighted to label a group of people taking advantage of a clear money-making opportunity as a poor decision. But what do I know?

        I can assure you that business owners here would prefer the opportunity to have the traffic and opportunity that a home football game weekend affords more than they do.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. argondawg

    I am a business owner in Athens but not on the hospitality side. I have seen mask use increasing exponentially over the last couple of months. We are bracing for the students coming back and how they will respond. I think the concerns on how the local retail and restaurant economies survive is more than legitimate. There is also a concern about adding another 30K folks to an area and what that does for the spread of the virus. Hospitals here have been getting pretty hammered and those folks need a break. I can’t imagine how many in the medical field are going to be dealing with serious cases of PTSD over the coming years.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My job is that of an essential worker. (Government decree) I have not missed a day of work this year with the exception of scheduled time off. All this talk of masks is bullsh*t. If masks work then open everything. If everything including sports can’t be opened because masks dont work they why are you sheep adorning your mugs with them? I do not wear them unless absolutely necessary to shop. Never been sick never made anyone sick. Let these young healthy men play. Just give them a mask.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Illini84

      There’s some bullshit there but it ain’t about masks.

      Like

      • Derek

        Its masks > no masks

        Not masks and voila we’re done here.

        Get it?

        If you’re told a rubber is better than unprotected sex you don’t wear a rubber and avoid every possible std. Nor are rubbers 100% reliable.

        But rubber > no rubber.

        Got it?

        You’re saying why buy and wear a rubber if they aren’t perfect?

        You’re not going to convince anyone but “branch covidians” that makes any sense at all.

        Like

        • Down Island Way

          Sooo, are you saying the rubber protection failed in your case….

          Like

          • Derek

            Quite possibly… As Rumsfeld would say, its an “unknown, unknown.”

            Like

            • Just because the words in all their entirety need to be seen to be believed:

              “As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. “

              Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      LOL. “Never made anyone sick”. Okay doctor.

      Like

      • I appreciate these posts every now and then to remind me that people believe this shit still and that the problem is still ongoing.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Russ I believe you to be an over educated dumbass. I’ve never been sick. Therefore I’ve never given anyone the virus. If you don’t have it you cannot give it. You don’t understand that? Like I said an over-educated dumbass. Go ahead and block me Senator. Your sports blog has become so politically far to the left that it’s no longer worth reading. I enjoyed Georgia sports but as far as “Get the Picture” is concerned I’m done. It’s a waste of my time to read these ass wipes continuously spew their venom. As a matter of fact let me block you first. I have enjoyed so much of your UGA football insight. I thank you for that. I can not stomach the far left taking over your blog. Thanks for the memories. Adios.

        Like

        • Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

          Excuse me, Sir? This is a Wendys.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Don in Mar-a-Lago

          That’s what she said

          Disagreement here happens through trolling, sea-lioning, dunks, missed dunks and arguments over whether someone is a doctor, an architect or works at a Wendy’s. Russ’s so-called cover story is that he is an engineer (spaceflight, oil production, oil clean up, or something like that, we really don’t know) in the Houston sector, a territory well-known for radical left politics. He is in actuality a well-known asymptomatic Marxist meaning that he is a carrier but experiences no symptoms, doesn’t believe that anyone is a doctor and may very well be a super spreader of far-left and ultra-left doctrine but we’ll have to see about that

          Liked by 1 person

        • FlyingPeakDawg

          Golf clap One of the best sign-off’s in GTP history. Right up there with Thomas Brown and JoyLoving..whatever. Thelma just drove the car over the cliff…or was it Louise? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dUYR2apxdA

          Liked by 1 person

          • Don in Mar-a-Lago

            My recollection is that Joy Riding Dawg didn’t go easily out of the plane with a voluntarily sign-off flourish…she was r-u-n-n-o-f-t…

            Like

        • Russ

          Oh, I’m a dumbass about a lot of things, that’s for sure. For example, I’m a dumbass about infectious disease. That’s why I prefer to listen to the doctors, epidemiologists and other specialists in infectious diseases. You know, the over-educated people that actually make it their careers to study and know this stuff. And the overwhelming consensus is that masks, social distancing and hand washing all help prevent the spread. And that a large number of people are asymptomatic and can spread the disease without even knowing they have it.

          I don’t know you from Adam, so maybe you have some unique training that can refute this, but I still prefer to go with scientific consensus, until they learn enough to reach a different conclusion.

          Liked by 3 people

        • mont, you’re not blocked.

          Take a few deep breaths. Step away from the keyboard for a while, if that helps. At some point, life will return to normalcy and we’ll have regular UGA football news to enjoy. Your conversation will be welcome.

          Like

  16. The really sad part is Trevor Lawrence is right. Most all of the kids are far better off playing football like normal than the alternative. What’s worse is it is only fear of the optics and the lawyers preventing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. David Chadwick

    Masks. I read an article in the NEJM and it noted that N-95’s in a clinical setting might only reduce spread by 5%. I could be mistaken, but I thought it said 5%. That’s in a clinical setting. I personal feeling is the mask thing is a highly politicized placebo.

    Does anyone have a link to a legitimate study of mask efficacy?

    Like

  18. TripleB

    Some blame it on the lack of masks, but I blame it on the lack of will. We have become unwilling to accept any level of risk. The cure is worse than the disease. As far as the towns getting devastated, I think its a shame even if some think they deserve it because they didn’t listen to the CDC.

    We should not be shutting down football, especially given all the protections for players that are not available to other students on campus. If they want to play, they should be able to play, and they are safer playing than being on campus like my kids in Athens who won’t be tested, monitored, or motivated to be extra careful.

    Like

    • Just an anecdotal report on what I’m experiencing in far away Maryland….

      I’m a part-time graduate at a local state university. They are (so far) moving forward with on-campus/in-class instruction for the Fall semester. But they have cancelled all fall sports.

      S/F/S (Students/Faculty/Staff) are required to wear masks at all times while indoors on campus this fall. (Unless alone in a private office, etc.)

      S/F/S are required to obtain a negative-result COVID test (administered between 8/6/20 and 8/31/20) before stepping on Campus this fall.

      S/F/S are required to download a tracking/reporting/notification app on their phones before stepping on Campus this Fall. Prior to each time they step on campus they are supposed to take their own temperature and report it on the app. They will also answer screening questions. App will also be used for contact tracing.

      S/F/S will be asked to undergo (voluntary) random COVID testing during the semester.

      S/F/S required to wear respective school IDs on a lanyard, worn around the neck and clearly visible at all times. Anyone not displaying ID (or visitor badge) will not be allowed on campus.

      Like

      • Got Cowdog

        None of this bothers me except for the tracking device on the phone. No bueno.
        My employer does not need to know where I am 24/7. If you can turn the app off when you clock out? Maybe.

        Like

        • To be clear, I’m a student at the university, not an employee. That being said, I work for an energy company and carry a company phone. They control the device and see anything I do on it…. presumably my location as well.

          Like

          • Got Cowdog

            Understood. I suspect my employer could find out where I’ve been as well, ntm we have GPS tracking on our fleet. I’m on call 24/7 365, so my work phone is always close by. To date, I have never not answered the bell, even when I was OoC. Thing is, who knows who would have access to the info? It’s probably not anything to worry about, but it really rubbed me the wrong way that it was suggested. Pet peeve, I guess.

            Like