Although Saint Joseph’s University does not have a football team, if you are reading this, you probably tune into College Gameday Live or watch some sort of college football game.
During Covid, a lot has changed, however one thing that will remain true since 1868 is that we will see college football. With college football having to follow both NCAA and State laws, what will college football look like fan wise? Tom Riedel, a diehard football fan/student at the University of Notre Dame, paints us a personal picture of what 2020 college football looks like from a students point of view.
Tom Riedel, a junior business major at the University of Notre Dame, has attended every Notre Dame home game since his arrival freshman year. Except last week’s canceled contest against Wake Forest after several Notre Dame players tested positive for covid. Yes, Riedel was planning on going.
Notre Dame has opened their stadium to fans, allowing 20% of the stadium to be filled, which is about 20,000 people. Notre Dame is allowing students to attend the games as a first come first serve basis. When Riedel was asked about the culture of college football, he replied, “There’s definitely something super off about this year’s college football season, it does not feel like football is here.” Riedel said that the precautions the University was taking to ensure safety were “unfortunate but necessary.” Notre Dame has eliminated tailgates, public water fountains, and limited the stadium to students only.
Majority of people can only imagine what it is like to play college football with limited/ no fans. For many athletes, fans motivate and fuel the players. Unfortunately, for both the students and the players, many college stadiums are still not letting fans into the games, or if so, allowing very limited. However, most players are just grateful to be playing.
In late August, certain schools and conferences elected not to participate in the 2020- 2021 football season. Notable conferences who elected not to play include: the Ivy League, Pac-12, and Big10. However, just recently the BIG10 and PAC-12announced they would be coming back to play.
So now that we know a little bit more what college football will look like regarding fans, the next question we want to know is how will it look for the players? Many schools have shortened their seasons to seven games, as well as only playing in-conference games. This is projected to help decrease the spread of covid to other conferences. Although this is not ideal for some players, this was agreed to be the best options so that there could be an actual college football playoff tournament in 2020-2021.
During trying times, sports have been known to help a city, state, and country rally. With limited in-person fans, it has been more challenging to fully jump into the spirit of sports. Although college football is not back to normal, things are looking up with the majority of teams being able to play again. And of course things are going well for Notre Dame, where they are lucky enough to hold 20,000 fans to root for a good game.