Letter to the editor: Congrats, Republicans, Big 10 football is back

Kinnick Stadium photo by Alan Light/Flickr

By Mike Fallon, Iowa City

Congratulations to Republican politicians, from President Trump to Gov. Kim Reynolds to Speaker of the Iowa House Pat Grassley and Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, for pressuring Big 10 Commissioner Kevin Warren into reversing his decision to cancel the fall college football season.

As the U.S. passes 7 million COVID cases and as health officials warn of a second surge in this virus and as cases rise by tens of thousands every day — with Americans in their 20s main drivers of virus over summer — some politicians use fear tactics like “our universities stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars that support vital student scholarships” to rationalize the need for a fall football season. Clearly, our supposed leaders are simply handing the keys to the liquor cabinet to the people most likely to spread COVID far and wide.

With less than the 40 days until the November election, many Americans will now spend hours watching college football and at tailgating parties, overindulging and over-consuming to the point of advanced inebriation. Meanwhile, college athletes put their necks on the line, like gladiators at the Roman coliseum. It is quite telling that Donald Trump congratulated the Big 10 on Wednesday morning, saying it was his “great honor” to have helped convince the leaders of its universities to reverse their earlier decision. No wonder he’s happy; he revels in distraction, and college football is just that, writ large.

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