Almost Showtime In South Florida

The game must go on.

Decades from now, sports historians will be analyzing why college football played its 2021 championship game in South Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic and allowed student-athletes to play in harm’s way. The harm being a deadly virus. Alabama and Ohio State were impacted by the virus during the 2020 season and that continued going into the big game in South Florida. Historians will note that South Florida was one of the hardest hit COVID-19 areas in the United States. But college football had to be played. That’s what the bosses of the big-time college football factories decreed with almost no regard to the student-athletes and other personnel connected to the football teams that performed for the public. Some COVID-19 safety protocols were in place but people still got the virus and the games went on.

The performance was needed to keep money flowing from television and marketing partners. Who are the bosses? Not the football coaches. Not the athletic directors. The bosses are college and university chancellors and presidents. They decided it was fine to play sports where athletes are merely interchangeable performers who get a college scholarship which entitles them to maybe go to classes in exchange for playing. Almost everyone in South Florida who is involved in the big game gets paid. The pilots of the planes that took the teams to the game. The bus drivers were paid. Housing, paid. The head of security and the security staff at the corporate named stadium, paid. The corporate officials gave money to the people who run the building to allow the name on the facility. The TV and radio people paid to broadcast the game. The announcers and production crew paid. Marketing partners who want to be associated with the game have paid for that right. The players do not get paid.

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

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