Columnist Drew Magary took the occasion of his latest San Francisco Chronicle editorial to insist that the crisis caused by the coronavirus is the excuse we need to end college football forever.
Magary kicked off his column without beating around the bush writing, “There’s no better time to kill off college football. Forever.”
The columnist followed that up leaving no doubt about his animus for college football.
“Now here’s a take for you: They shouldn’t play these games in fall, or in the spring, or even in 2021. The entire college football industry should f–king die,” he wrote, adding “… I don’t want the NFL or the NBA to die. I don’t want any pro sports to die. But college football? Oh yeah, let’s kill the f— out of college football.”
Magary isn’t exactly against college football as such. But he is opposed to the “corrupt system” he says it has become. His concerns come in two points. One, that the coronavirus is making football “even more dangerous” for the players. And, two, that the players are prevented from unionizing and earning money for playing even as the universities rake in billions by selling the student athletes’ abilities.
As the columnist explained:
Because college football shouldn’t exist. I wanna believe there’s a way for the sport to work, so that players are fairly compensated and I still get to watch Michigan inexplicably blow three-plus games a year. In fact, just last week a group of Pac-12 players issued a series of demands for their return to the field which included not only intense safety precautions but also genuine reforms to address the ongoing sham of amateurism that has allowed coaches and administrators to bank millions off a glorified NFL farm system. Their vision of the sport, complete with formal player unionization, SEEMED like it could work.
Next, like all sports writers do, Magary next prosaically turned his commentary about college football into a way to attack Donald Trump:
It’s just that no one in charge will ever allow that to happen. The Pac-12 coalition’s #WeAreUnited campaign has already been upstaged by a #WeWantToPlay campaign that’s just a watered-down list of demands. That second campaign was instantly co-opted by coaches and by the Axis of S–tbags — Trump, Jim Jordan, Nick Saban, etc. — as justification for putting players in harm’s way. You see? These guys wanna play! I know why this means so much to the president. The absence of college football would serve as glaring proof — to voters in the GOP’s favorite states — of his numerous, deliberate failures to contain the pandemic. He can’t let that happen. He and other power brokers need us to go back to a normal that had no right to exist in its previous incarnation.
The illogic of this is mind boggling. How can Trump be blamed for higher education shutting down and sports canceled when he is the one advocating that they open? Shouldn’t the people who shut it all down get the blame when it gets shut down?
“That’s why college football can never return. The sport has been so corrupt for so long that even the people who RUN it can’t even sort out the composition of the rot,” Magary insisted.
It’s all about the money, he claimed, adding, “the NCAA has no interest in actually FIXING any of this s—, because that would cost them money.”
Well, it’s my stance — no wait, my DESIRE — that the NCAA come out of this with no money at all. AND LO AND BEHOLD, here we now have a morbidly perfect opportunity to kill the NCAA dead forever. But the only way to effectively do that is for the games to stop. That’s not the most enticing proposition to players who really do want to play right now, either because of their NFL prospects or because they need Big Jim McBooster’s monthly cash envelope.
The columnist also urged the players to hold out and not join the #WeWantToPlay movement because “the second these players take the field, their leverage is gone.”
“They’re all faceless, replaceable drones in helmets again. The money will start flowing back in and those who stand to profit will tune those players right back out,” Magary exclaimed.
So, Magary laments that college football is “more dangerous” because of COVID, and the colleges don’t care. Never mind that the actual science shows that few people under 30 who test positive for the virus ever have any symptoms. And forget that the CDC has reported that less than 1,000 people under the age of 34 have died from COVID-19 in our country of 350 million people. Magary insists it is “more dangerous.”
So, what is the upshot? Will college football change to suit him? According to Magary:
You already know the answer. Nothing. These players give everything, and what the f— have their bosses ever given back? We’ve reached a point in history where it’s crystal clear that American universities are where corruption goes to get laundered. Many of them can’t exist without their s— football teams, and those football teams can’t exist without screwing over their own players. That’s the system. You don’t fix a system like this. You bury it. I hope every college football player opts out and never opts back in.
With both the Pac-12 and the Big Ten canceling the season for 2020, Magary won’t have to worry about any of this. At least for a while.
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