I am running my annual football column in its normal calendar position this year. However, for 2020, our football season is going to be somewhat delayed at all levels. From the time that I was a youngster, I have always looked forward to Fall. Fall is my favorite time of the year. For sure, I love the cooler weather and everything that goes along with it. And, to me, Fall has always meant football! However, for the upcoming football season, lots of things are going to be different.
Although I have adhered to most of my standard traditions related to the annual start of football season, a lot of things are different for 2020. For the majority of 2020, COVID-19 has impacted practically everything that we do. Our lives, so many of our traditions and so much more have all been changed. Most everything as we have known in the past has to be different now. Of course, our desire and need to have football (and sports in general) in our lives pales in comparison to the loss of life and rampant sickness resulting from the coronavirus. And, mitigating the spread of the disease is of critical life-saving importance. That comes first, for sure. And, with this being true as it relates to football season, it has left so many of us to ask, are we actually going to have a football season this year?
At this time, the answer appears to indicate that we will have a football season. Schedules have changed. Detailed plans (with contingencies based on the unknown) have been outlined and the proper protocol put in place. As of now, we still don’t know the level at which fans will be in the stands (or if fans will be allowed at all). But, it appears at this time that our favorite football teams will indeed take the field this season.
The changes brought to all of our lives by the coronavirus are not all that has changed in my life since last football season. Last year, it was my mother that had been critically ill since the beginning of 2019. Mom is now doing amazingly well (except for the broken arm she sustained in a fall at home last week…and she has even come through that and the resulting surgery in great shape). However, as many of you already know, we lost my father about six weeks ago.
And, of course, as we all go through, we are having a really hard time in dealing with it all.
For me personally, as it relates to football season and as much as I am looking forward to it, I don’t know how I am going to get through it. Since the mid 1980’s, I can count on two hands the LSU football games that my Dad and I have not watched or listened to together. Watching football is something that we have always done together for as long as I can remember. Again, I can’t wait but in another way, I am dreading it. And, I am praying that I can get through it.
Yes, I am a football fan! It is going to be a great season in spite of all of the necessary changes! Good luck to all teams! Most importantly, be safe. Football (or any sport for that matter) is not worth risking the lives of the players, coaches, team managers, fans, etc. In spite of all of this, I hope that our athletes can still have fun playing the game! And, as I always say at this time of year, Here’s to Fall, Here’s to Football!
Randy Brown is publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune.