In April, the signs around Alabama read: If you don’t stay indoors, you won’t have football in the fall. It seems that almost no one, sports fan or the sort of people who hate sports fans, stayed at home. The South, you see, loves its football in a way that doesn’t quite make sense. In the face of the pandemic the one football conference thought packed stadiums weren’t a great idea on balance and road signs in Mississippi read “Be Like the Big Ten: Stay at Home and Avoid Gatherings.” The football teams of the Southeastern Conference, however, would do no such thing. Love of the game is not the only reason the fabled SEC has chosen to play in the face of the epidemic. It isn't bloody mindedness either. The SEC has - literally - a billion other reasons, each and every one of them legal tender for all debts, public and private.
The terminally hep would have you believe that those billion reasons aren’t worth the spreading of the new plague across our fair land. They very well might have a point and these are discussions that need to be had. It is hard to take the stay at home argument seriously had the same group spent the entire summer insisting that being packed loin to flank, sweating and screaming in the streets couldn’t spread a pathogen while sitting three inches apart in a stadium, rhythmically swabbing your mouth with alcohol is a “super-spreader event.”
It’s the same sort of nonsense that makes a True Believer think that a righteous face painting on Game Day will affect the outcome of an event of which he is not actually a part. It is the belief that sincerity of emotion can cause a Hail Mary pass find its way home, or cause one complete stranger who doesn’t know that you are alive to run faster that another complete stranger down a field, and stop the spread of a disease because you feel righteous.
We all need a break from [reality], if you are in the mood to throw rational thought out the window and let your emotions pull you into a world of voodoo and chats and the mojo, at least do it somewhere that’s fun.
And keep it to Game Day.