Having football this year means more than you will ever know
What so many people thought could not be back in the spring and early summer of 2020, including yours truly, was completed Monday night in Miami.
The college football, despite all the postponements, cancelations, the crazy scheduling and empty stadiums, found a way to push forward through it all to give all of us a football season.
The powers that be in the ACC, SEC and Big 12, as well as those from the Group of 5, need to be commended for battling through all the challenges, chaos, and criticism to start a season and push forward every week. They deserve to be credited for the protocols they established and stuck with, while trying to assure the safety of their student-athletes and coaches.
The players and coaches from every conference also deserve credit. It was not an easy year for them. The grind of a football season is challenging and taxing, both physically and mentally, in a normal year. But the added stress of being tested several times a week for the coronavirus, and in some cases every day, can weigh on a player and a coach. And, at times, it did.
But thanks to guys like Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence leading the charge in the #WeWantToPlay movement, everyone has persevered in what has been the most challenging sports year in all of our lives.
Sports is very important in our culture. Probably more than what some people realized before 2020 came along. It gives us all a place to escape and unwind from our daily lives. It offers us three to four hours every night to forget about what is happening in the world, to put our difference aside and to come together and be entertained by the best athletes on the planet.
Granted, sport is not the most important thing in life. Unfortunately, I have learned that the hard way. But having sports in my life has always been a comfort for me. It has been the outlet I needed.
Playing sports when I was growing up taught me a lot of life lessons, ones I still apply to my everyday life, like having to accept failure, how to handle success, working hard for what you want, being unselfish and working as a team player.
That is what sports has given me and all of us.
And that is why I say thank you to College Football and the NFL, too. They found a way to come together, handle the failures and work together to push forward to give us a football season.
Alabama was crowned the national champion Monday night on the football field, but in a year where nothing has been normal and nothing has been certain, every administrator, coach and player is a national champion in my eyes.
Thank you! All of you. Thank you for giving us a season in the sport we all love. Now, it is on to 2021.