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I know someone who works on the front line in a hospital. If you know someone as well, then perhaps you have heard their stories. Maybe you have gotten emotional yourself hearing your friend explain what it's like to hold the phone up to a family who is saying goodbye to their loved one because Covid-19 is taking another life. That family is heartbroken because they can't be there in that moment. No matter how many times a doctor, nurse or medical assistant watches someone passes because of this virus it never gets easier.
That is not a political statement. It is not a challenge to what you think about the virus. It's real and horrific. And it's the world around us until the pandemic is gone and no one knows when that will be even with vaccines on the way.
The point is if you are looking for someone to blame because a football game between Clemson and Florida State was not played the answer is the virus and everything it brings. Did Clemson do everything it was supposed to do to play the game? Maybe. Did FSU choose an easy out to avoid getting drilled by Clemson? Maybe.
But playing a college football season through the pandemic is much harder than all of us understand.
I supported the idea of trying to play college football safely. I still support that idea but I have learned how challenging it is. Yes, we watch the games and are glad they are being played but the reality is most of us do not know what takes place each week to play and we see week after week how many games are not played.
Covid-19 is not the reason UCF lost to Cincinnati. There are football reasons for that. The Knights are the only team in the American to not have a game postponed or canceled because of the virus...at least not yet. UCF is set to play rival South Florida on Friday and the Bulls are trying to get through another round of positive tests. But the process wears on every team. The process of testing and protocols in place to keep players in somewhat of a "bubble" are not as easy as one assumes.
Florida is having a season that could lead to a playoff berth, but the Gators learned how the virus can shut down a program. Same for Miami, FSU, Clemson, Notre Dame and it goes on and on.
Coaches truly do not know if they are playing a game the morning of the game because they are not sure what the Friday round of tests will return. Even the morning of games, it remains up in the air if some teams will have enough players to play.
When Miami played at Virginia Tech, the Canes were not sure they met the roster limit to play hours before kickoff. They were without several key players and coaches for the game. Days later, UM Coach Manny Diaz announced he tested positive. If you don't think that wears on a team, you don't get it.
We all know why we are doing this. It's about money and there's millions of reasons we continue to play. I am not saying we need to shut down college football either. We, as a society, need to try and function safely and get through the challenges we face.
So back to Clemson and FSU. Dabo Swinney is furious the game was not played. He blames FSU for basically chickening out of the game and says he won't bring his team back to Tallahassee to play the game unless the Seminoles pay for their travel or they can play the game at Clemson. Florida State officials have their reasons for not playing and just maybe their reason is because they wanted to protect their players and why is anyone arguing that point?
FSU doesn't need another loss to know this season has been a bad one. Clemson's resume for the College Football Playoff committee does not need a 50-point win over FSU to still make the made-for-tv invitational.
When this college football season ends, we will have some teams who played 11 games and some who played five. We will have teams who lost as many as four games to the virus and others who fielded teams with barely enough players to meet their conference requirement. Nothing is normal in 2020 and therefore reasons for why games are not played may make for mean twitter fights, but it is just a game to entertain us and if Clemson-FSU is not played, we will still be ok.
Cheer on your favorite team and hope all remain safe. And maybe just take one moment to stop and look at the bigger picture and think about that front line worker at the hospital and the moments they deal with. It is far more important and worthy of our thoughts than if Clemson gets an extra data point on their schedule or if FSU was afraid to play them...
Notes: Rodrigo Schlegel has earned his place in Orlando City's history for his dramatic save in the heart-stopping victory over NYCFC penalty kick fiasco. And it was a fiasco. The confusion after the save by Pedro Gallese only added to the drama and the explanation of the referee's decision remains confusing at best. Schlegel may never have a moment in his career like he did on Saturday but he will remain a hero in the hearts of Lions' fans. The "laws" in place for the 2019-20 season or the "laws" of the 2020-21 season are in play here and what Gallese did or was allowed to do coming off the line to make that save. The decision by manager Oscar Pareja to let Schlegel attempt to make a save is one even Pareja admits was not based on past history. It was based on Schlegel's claim he played some goalie in academy play. But that's what sports it all about. Moments where the non-star becomes a star in that moment. Rodrigo Schlegel had his moment and the Lions live to see another day...
Final thought: Chocolate can sooth tooth decay. Parts of the cocoa bean help deal with mouth bacteria.