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Last year fans, players, coaches and athletic administrators fought the sports media and wimpy presidents and chancellors of schools to ensure a college football season was played. Playing college football safely last fall was an incredible victory for those of us who looked at covid data and made logical decisions based on that covid data.
But this weekend may have been the most important statement made in generations by college football fans. Because all over the country college football fans showed up in massive crowds without wearing masks and sent America the message that it was time to get back to normal, the covid fear porn purveyors had lost the battle to keep us living in fear forever.
While bars and restaurants in New York City might be checking people for vaccine cards, millions of college football fans all over the country in both red and blue states, vaccinated and unvaccinated, having had covid and not had covid, with nary a mask to be seen among them, stuck up a big middle finger to the coronabros and all their supporters still trying to restrict our freedoms in this country. College football fans were speaking with a loud voice and the message was clear: we’re done being scared.
Joe Biden ran on the false idea that he would return normalcy to America. Judging by his 43% approval rating in an NPR poll this week — seriously if Joe Biden is getting 43% approval ratings in an NPR poll what’s the real number?! — that pledge to restore normalcy to America has already failed. But that was inevitable because that’s not how America works, normalcy isn’t a top down directive, Americans return normalcy to America. And massive college football crowds are a gargantuan part of normalcy in America. Because if the most popular college football team in your region of the country has tens of thousands of people showing up for a game then no matter what the coronabro purveyors of fear porn try and sell you, they’ve lost the battle to keep the country abnormal.
That’s especially the case when you consider the this Labor Day weekend there are MORE CASES of covid than there were last Labor Day weekend in 2020 when the Big Ten told its players they weren’t allowed to play football games because it wasn’t safe. Think about that for a minute as you exult in this scene yesterday from Wisconsin.
Last year Virginia didn’t allow high school football to be played in the fall because it wasn’t safe. This September, even with covid cases higher in the country than last year, this was the scene in Blacksburg, Virginia on Friday night as Virginia Tech ran onto the field.
Wisconsin and Virginia are two “blue” states, but their people were letting their voices be heard — enough was enough. Make no mistake about what happened in 2020, the media elite, big tech, and the Democratic party colluded to convince you that covid was so terrifying you couldn’t live your normal life. Your kids couldn’t go to school, you had to wear masks everywhere, your kids couldn’t play sports and your stadiums couldn’t be full. And they did this, to a large degree, so they could say it was all Donald Trump’s fault and hurt him in the 2020 election. As if that wasn’t enough they hid Joe Biden in the basement and dragged him across the finish line “Weekend At Bernie’s” style by changing voting rules all over the country.
And if you doubt the fact that they used college football to try and beat Trump, they ran television advertisements all over the Big Ten — and in Arizona — blaming Donald Trump for college football not being played. Democrats used covid fear porn, including limiting college sports, to execute the biggest power grab in my life. And they tried to make sports a part of their power grab. But fortunately we at least won most of that battle by having a season last year. Even still, there’s absolutely no reason we couldn’t have had full stadiums last year too.
Again, cases are higher this Labor Day than they were last year. (I know there’s a vaccine, but the death rate for people under the age of sixty, which is most of college football fans, has been minuscule since March of last year when covid arrived in earnest on our shores.)
My point here, college football fans returning in massive numbers is a tremendous signal for what the country feels, a national litmus test. The coronabros in the media tried to attack the huge crowds this weekend, but people finally stepped forward and shot them down, pointing out the absurd hypocrisies in their own life choices.
Witness, Rex Chapman’s Tweet here as he tried to steal the joy of college football fans.
Indeed despite the fact that stadiums all over the country, in both red and blue states, were completely full, left wingers are so scared of Florida governor Ron Desantis for keeping his state open, that they singled out the Florida Gator crowd as particularly “scary.”
We’re in the middle of an incredible Outkick college football road trip — thanks to everyone we met in Knoxville and Charlotte this weekend and I can’t wait to see you guys in Fayetteville for Texas-Arkansas this weekend — and what I’m seeing and hearing from college football fans all over the country is an embrace of American exceptionalism, a rejection of the denigration of America that has been ascendant for the past five years in our media and in our cultural elite.
Just look at Texas A&M’s red, white and blue game yesterday, in honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Tell me this doesn’t send shivers down your spine as you watch this video.
Trust me on this, there’s a real groundswell out there, the American people have had enough. I think you’re going to see it explode this week on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Don’t look at what “people” — who are often anonymous bot armies — say on social media about it being unsafe to return to normalcy because of covid, look at WHAT THEY ACTUALLY DO.
It’s way past time to stop letting the blue checkmark brigade’s fears dictate your and mine’s freedoms.
God bless all of you college football fans of all stripes and persuasions, you officially ended covid fear porn this weekend. We’re not going back to restrictions any longer. We’re going to be in our stadiums and our tailgates — without masks — living our best lives. Because college football provides the real antidote this country needs — true normalcy.
Okay, let’s get rolling with the Starting 11.
1. Georgia should be favored to make the playoff after the Bulldog win over Clemson.
In fact, Georgia doesn’t play a currently ranked team again until the Cocktail Party against Florida on October 30th and that’s the only ranked team they are scheduled to play all season. (The Outkick bus tour, by the way, will be at the cocktail party that day. I can’t wait.).
Now as huge as this win over Clemson was, there are also reasons for nervousness, namely on the offensive side of the ball. The Georgia offense only posted 256 yards of offense and didn’t show any ability at all to stretch the field in any kind of significant way. (Clemson’s defensive performance is being underrated because Georgia was so good. But we may have seen the two best defenses in football playing last night.)
Indeed, the only touchdown scored all night by either team was by the Georgia defense.
That means the Bulldogs, whose defense was simply incredible last night, holding Clemson to two yards rushing on 23 attempts, may find themselves in some close games. That could especially be the case if the offense turns the ball over a few times or runs into a team making some plays on special teams.
But let’s not underrate what this win means, Georgia could punch its ticket to the playoff by going 12-0 in the regular season and losing to Alabama, or maybe Texas A&M, in the SEC championship game. That is, this Clemson win is a likely eraser of a loss and it will loom large all season long in the playoff race.
A 12-1 Georgia team is virtually assured a playoff berth.
There’s just no way to underrate how seismic this outcome has the potential to be come December.
2. Ed Orgeron is looking more and more like Gene Chizik 2.0 every week.
11. My SEC power rankings:
Ole Miss is not yet included because they don’t play until Monday night. I tried to balance out the quality of the opponent and the margins of victory here, but this is obviously hard to do after week one with many of these teams having played big underdogs. So I used expected margin of victory for the Vegas odds here as well.
3. Texas A&M
10. South Carolina
11. Mississippi State
I look forward to seeing many of you in Fayetteville this weekend and in Gainesville next weekend.
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