LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
While we continuously churn out high quality LSU Tigers content with absolutely no end in sight, we now take a step back and view the entire college football landscape more clearly than ever before and the vibes we sense aren't good at all.
We now wonder if it's right or wrong to keep posting stuff about the 2020 team's future, while we refrain from constantly mentioning Covid 19 out of respect for our readers (who need an escape from the overwhelming realities)...but it's time we confront our new reality and why we're in this potentially college football-less mess.
It isn't my job to come here and kiss ass, cover up names or rosy up a pile of shit....frankly, a piece of shit is a piece of shit, regardless of how much garlic or kale you throw on top of it, the stench never leaves...and in this current shituation, brought about by the early mask-less opening of our country, cost us a few hundred thousand lives, an additional million more horribly ill: no hospital visits for sick or even dying loved ones, no get-togethers, no concerts...no high-fives...no hugs...no football...all because we couldn't put a piece of cloth on our face.
We always saw sports as an omnipresent function of our society, a karmic reward for the toil of every day life....sports were bigger than the government, bigger than religion (it directly competes and wins vs religion every Sunday), sports could outpace war, inhumane atrocities, civil rights injustices, environmental calamities, political upheaval...sports always made it out on the other side, transcending and sometimes championing the right causes for change:
Baseball has never fully recovered from steroids but it has continued, futbol blew the greedy, corrupt FIFA group apart and rebuilt it again with another, less evil-looking group of Bond villains, the NFL fought through the greed of their owners, the political miasma since 2016, domestic abuse scandals and Roger Goodell himself, while the NBA survived Tim Donaghy and Chris "Birdman" Johnson both...
But it seems no American sport can out-duel a virus...least of all collegiate sports, let alone college football, a sport who's very framework is built on maximum, repeated contact....and even if the sport could survive a few rounds vs Covid, how wrong, how evil, how disgusting, how greedy would it be to roll the dice with kids' lives at obvious risk?
While we await the difficult decisions during the coming weeks from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, weeks which will become the most extreme and hair raising for the immediate future of high school or collegiate athletics' entire intertwined histories, many are just now rushing to action, feeling "this is the time to save collegiate sports"...thank you for waking up, but I've got to say: the crunch time to save sports wasn't July...it was back in April and May.
Anyone with a Tucker Carlson degree in biology told us this "virus would die off in the summer" and none of these fools turned out to be right, none of them wore masks, either, another bad influence on the surrounding communities....not even around their elderly parents...
Now, with temperatures scorching hot all over the country, the virus is at its highest peak, completely against their fictional forecasts: Texas (14,916 new cases on 7/17, 331,067 total), Arizona (3,910 new cases on July 17th, 91 deaths on that same day), California (9,199 new cases as of 7/17, 120 deaths on the same day) especially Florida (11,466 new cases as of July 17th, 10,227 on July 18th, 90 deaths on July 17th 4,981 deaths)...
There's been a total 143,000 total deaths within the United States as of July 19th and every single one of those above states have in excess of 330,000+ total cases each...
This surge occurs at precisely the worst time for anyone hoping to play, watch, coach or report on high school, college and even professional football this fall...
With the Big 10 and Pac 12 leading the "conference only" march, the Ivy Leagues postponing until the spring entirely and every other conference currently weighing their options, football's immediate future is in a world of trouble...all due to the ridiculous nature of our society's reaction to the virus.
The "wear your mask so he can wear his" tweets are fantastic...but about 3 months late...now it's become something to rally around "let's keep our society whole...wear a mask!"....but where were these calls during March?
They were there...they were just silenced...(this very website posted photos of this author wearing a mask back in March...receiving hate mail and blocks).
But if our society truly desires to stop messing around and wants to find a blueprint to overcome this new abnormal we all detest so so sooo much, it's not through angrily tweeting about someone's political views: we must learn from the actions of any country, organization or individual who's been successful vs Covid 19.
Exhibit A: we must look to European soccer.
Europe were looking like the Bubonic plague in March....then, they shut everything down, their people followed the guidelines, their governments replaced lost wages so people could stay home and now, they can play sports at least...gradually reopening businesses: Italy at 218 cases as of July 19th, 1,400 from Spain as of July 19th, France at 697 as of July 18th...considerably lower numbers than Italy's 5,465 new cases and 889 deaths on March 28th.
In May, it was Germany's Bundesliga who blazed the trail first, followed by La Liga action in Spain returning, then the English Premier League and now even Italy's Serie A is back...all with less than a few total positive Covid tests for players and staff since re-opening.....how is this possible while the United States is already bracing for cancellations?
Due to close proximity and population, European people were faced with the sight of death and illness at their doorstep unceasingly...they were forced to adapt; however, Americans are too spread out, too isolated: it's hard for people from Arizona or Utah to understand an Oklahoma tornado or people from New Hampshire to completely grasp a hurricane in the Gulf Coast, let alone the intense Covid spread across New York, Boston, Washington State and California...it was hard for anyone to fathom if you hadn't experienced the intensity of this virus...if we were more plugged in, more aware of how each other are doing as fellow Americans, we would've followed every regulation to stop the spread and we would've been the country to turn to.
Now even the USA's sensible voices are being cancelled, vilified and twisted...with many taking it upon themselves to politicize any reaction or choice of words concerning the virus, college football, the president, your choice of morning coffee....it's now all up for a debate, a public shaming and a worldwide kick in the ass for being a human being.
Our own Coach Ed Orgeron is the latest victim in one of the worst disgraces I've seen in sports "journalism" for a long time:
"I don't think we can take this away from these players, take this away from our state and our country. We need football," the defending national championship coach said, according to USA Today.
"Football is the lifeblood of our country in my opinion. It gets everything going, it gets the economy going, the economy of Baton Rouge, the economy of the state of Louisiana."
Does this sound like Orgeron is saying "football at all costs", even over the "ailing bodies of teenaged football players" as has been exaggerated by so many corrupt news corporations? This is a declaration of hopeful optimism, Coach O wanting football so badly he's swinging for the fences, trying to get Vice President Mike Pence to enact mandatory indoor public masks rules...anything to curb this virus so daily life can return to some degree. When you see Oklahoma fanalyst R.J Young putting up grossly cheap YouTube videos going after Orgeron, claiming he's a "liar", it's obvious what he's trying to do by exploding over Orgeron's hopeful optimism:
Coach O even came on his tiny show and yet here R.J Young claims this is "about the kids" from his perspective, it is...it's all about the kids for R.J: it's all about manipulating them no matter what the cost, because he knows if he doesn't at least try, they're going to LSU over Oklahoma any day of the week. So, Oklahoma, Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson fans will try to cancel someone in the public eye or attempt a Manchurian Candidate-esque destruction of Ed Orgeron's character...all because he's pictured with the highly criticized Vice President Mike Pence at an official function. Orgeron is smart enough to see people beyond politics and try to enact real change to stop Covid 19, which is why he met with the Vice President in the first place. Yup, Orgeron went full Bono and RJ, among others cannot handle what an absolute rock star hero Coach O has been during this entire Covid debacle. We know what this is really about though...for guys like R.J Young, they're sick of watching LSU dominate on the recruiting trail and they want to shut that down any way they can.
But while the vulchers flock, LSU's support staff adapted the most cutting edge fight vs the virus in college football under Associate Athletic Trainer Shelley Mullinex. Her strategies are now the blueprint for how the sport as a whole could move forward. LSU used their HQ as a sick room for their students, taking care of them unlike Oklahoma who refused to even allow some of their students (who had nowhere else to go or worse options at home or abroad) back on campus...it was a difference in philosophy: To Orgeron, the team meant family...he wanted to take care of his kids whether they were sick, exposed or just needed a place to be... For Lincoln Riley, once Covid hit, there was no football team...there were no players...you were of no use to him...
Anyone who wants to call Orgeron greedy and money hungry for wanting this season, I give you his contract: whether football is played or not for the next year, Orgeron will make a few million as the best coach in college football anyway...not only that, LSU's football program itself doesn't need the money from the 2020 season to survive...it's these economically exposed communities which surround the football programs who desperately need the money...all Orgeron is saying is how much he witnesses football giving back from his perspective as LSU's chief ambassador, and his own fears of these local haunts dying during a football-less fall (even with the assistance of fundraising efforts). Orgeron wanting the season isn't simply for his sake...he understands what's at stake for those high school seniors who need football so they can make it on a college campus next year...what do people in power say to those kids who needed that scholarship, who needed those games, those appearances, those breathtaking plays to make their dreams come true? Coach Orgeron's words to Michael Pence were borne from optimism and damn do we need that more nowadays...in fact, the anti-Orgeron reaction to his statements only serves to emphasize the political media's love for division or apocalypse while underlining the fear from college football's blue bloods:
The only way they can compete against LSU (just as we found out with Dick Vitale's "allegations" talk) is to get as low down and as dirty as possible to win each recruit...they're going to say things about Ed's personal life changes, they're going to throw Ed under the bus, and I refuse to let that happen. Orgeron is right...he understands what Europe knew back in March and April when they acted swiftly: they needed their UEFA leagues to continue, with or without fans for the mental, emotional, economic stability and well-being of their nations. From this example, Orgeron's support staff, led by the courageous Shelley Mullinex, instilled many of the same principles in their care of the athletes or strategies vs Covid. A season without football, without the NBA, the NFL...that's a bleak future for people all over: a generation of children who's dreams were dashed, some of these kids having their only way out of poverty denied by uppity lockdown-obsessed politicians, city council leaders and school district administrators; it'll be a bad few years for arena employees, security, small business vendors at arenas, even theaters, bars etc, businesses all over, reporters for mainstream outlets, local small town papers, high school coaches at lower division schools...this isn't a game anymore...if we want the game on the field, we need to figure out the game vs Covid off the field as a society first. I don't know what the answer is as far as establishing a college football season other than at least delaying for a few months until these numbers go significantly down in order to save both the kids and the season...but I know that jumping the gun and pushing a broad-sweeping decision with ramifications we can't even quantify yet (Big 10, Pac 12), or branding anyone with a different opinion "a greedhound" who "doesn't care about the lives of teenagers" isn't the right way to go about things either, especially if you really care about healing our country. You can hate what Coach O said all you want...but you know deep down inside Coach Ed Orgeron was right when he said "we needed football"....our economy is far too wrapped up in the success of our sports, collegiate athletics especially playing a direct, primary role in the stability of the very schools they represent...so do you want to blame the world's problems, the structure of the NCAA and our nation's universities and state schools all on Coach Ed Orgeron? Or do you want to say "okay here's a man who understands the system at its core and realizes the full consequences of a season without college or high school football"?
....Regardless of your political leaning, we all know that "new abnormal" wouldn't be good for anyone, especially the kids. Put that mask on, let's geaux, I want us all to live again: let's get football back. by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN #JUSTICEFORBREONNA #JUSTICEFORBERNARDO #BLACKLIVESMATTER GEAUX TIGERS COPYRIGHT 2020 UNINTERRUPTED WRITINGS INC LLC What do you think about Orgeron's comments and the reaction?
Tell us! Thank you for reading!
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