We’re a day away from this thing messing up, « said Brad Underwood, chief basketball coach of Illiinois Fighting Illinois, on a media call yesterday. This is life during COVID-19, when any game can be canceled anytime, anywhere.
Underwood says he has been closely monitoring the situation in Ohio state football, which is complicated and strange to say the least. Underwood also said that for Big Ten Conference games he may be traveling the same day to try to avoid exposure to the coronavirus as much as possible.
« This is the way to watch a movie and go to bed, » he added, noting that his team cannot leave their rooms. You have to wipe the room and wear masks everywhere. In addition, the Illinois basketball team travels with nurses who can perform antigen tests.
You say and do all the real things and you can’t fault that, but at the same time it all drives home all the major points that have made me conflicted and ambivalent. What you think and feel about all of this is up to you, but you need to have some, at least a little bit of cognitive dissonance, and quite a bit of mixed feelings.
If not, you’re as flat and one-dimensional as a cartoon character. That’s the only thing I’m going to say about how I think you should think and feel because it’s about my experience of how I think and feel and you are free to agree / disagree / whatever.
You can use whatever platforms are available to you, the comments section here, social media, your blog, your podcast, etc.. . to express your opinion. But to me it’s more of a college basketball-like substance than college basketball. It’s not actually college football, it’s a college football-like compound with some natural, real ingredients but lots of synthetic chemicals and fillers.
For the first time in 16 years, # 5 Illinois is in a top 5 fight when they face # 2 Baylor in Indianapolis at 9:00 p.m. (it’s a double header so it’s closer to 9:20ish be, which means just before 10:30 am EST, which means it will be around 1am when it ends on the east coast. .
I just can’t be hyped and Illinois is my alma mater. It is the school that everyone in my family went to, will go to, and so on. . I’ve covered the Illinois press series for over a decade. But I’m just not that excited about this game. I hope they win and I hope there are good stories to write about.
I’m glad we can at least see that on TV. There is something to be done, but it is just not the same.
I am not medically in a risk group, but I have a terrible medical history. Given my personal history and the fact that the experts have frequently changed the position of the coronavirus, I am not taking any chances. The experts were very wrong about Covid as it is a novel coronavirus. Therefore, if I were on the field reporting a game again until I was vaccinated, I wouldn’t feel safe.
I realize I may not be able to get one until April or May. Not being there takes a lot of interest and excitement from me. It is completely normal and natural to find something less interesting and fun than you could go before, but now you can’t. After all, part of the appeal of films is « going to the cinema ».
Even when you’re at the venue, you get the same media access that you get at home. Then why are you really leaving?
And yes, press conferences are by and large boring, whether in real life or via zoom. It was obviously like that before the pandemic.
The idea of taking forced, rehearsed platitudes and passing them off as meaningful and substantial, however, was difficult enough before the plague hit. Now almost all of us have more perspective in the face of the difficult times we live in. How much zoom do we really need in our life?
While I’m glad we can watch sports on TV (even more so when we’re all stuck at home), I also understand that this is a very marginal business and we really shouldn’t have it at all ; especially during the second wave. During a one-time plague, the AP rankings and W-L records don’t have the same gravity.
Over the weekend, my podcast partner and I, Travis Miller, recorded a Let’s Get Weird Sports pod at the 2021 NCAA tournament, which is slated to take place exclusively in the Indianapolis area.
« Who knows what’s going to happen in the next three months? Because there are so many moving points and moving targets and what scientific developments there will be and how effective the vaccine is and who will be taking it. ”
« I’m assuming there will be some kind of college basketball substance. I think there will be a season. I firmly believe that there will be a tournament. ”
He went on to say that we don’t know what will happen in three months, or even three weeks.
I agree and that makes it so difficult to get involved with. You can analyze, write down, and preview a game that is not even being played. So what was it about?. When I started this piece, there were two more college football games scheduled for that weekend by the time I got down here.
Then you look at the polls and see one team that played three games next to another that played nine.
If everyone is not on the same pitch as to the basic requirement for the number of games played, how can anyone take such a season seriously? It’s a quasi-season or a pseudo-season.
« The entire college football season is a wash to me, it’s almost a season that doesn’t count, » Miller added. “Because of the difference in the games played and what not. ”
Thanks to Northwestern Football, another program that I report on regularly, as they did a great job trying to manage the pandemic. Her berth for the Big Ten title game, however, would be better if everyone came to play than through attrition. They earned the Big Ten West title, but it’s a very shortened season again.
Notre Dame, another team I regularly coach, is like NU in that they have a very special season. Illinois basketball could fall into the same category as many believe they will have a magical season 20-21. It’s a shame I can’t be part of it because I could easily have been part of it.
ND got his spot in the ACC title game on a Tuesday without playing because their only game, which was postponed for a week from Saturday earlier this season, is now over.
So all of this could be really fun and exciting new banner experiences, but since all of this happens this season, the year of one * next to everything, it just doesn’t really feel the same. Sure, you can still tweet games by game and tweet press conference quotes, but that was boring, boring, and not of much value.
But hey, it’s just me. You might find these things worthwhile. If you still enjoy this more than I do, this is great and good for you.
Let’s just try to stay healthy and safe, get vaccinated as soon as possible, and get back to normal.
I’m in the Sean Doolittle category of Washington Naitonals – “Exercise is a reward for a functioning society. « So we try to work again first and have some fun later.
Paul M. . Banks operates Sports Bank in partnership with News Now. Banks, the author of « No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons from a Life in the Sports Media Industry, » has appeared regularly in the WGN, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune, and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Basketball, Illinois Men’s Basketball Fighting of Illinois, Big Ten Conference, Brad Underwood
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