Fall, football, and fevers

Big Ten fans are heartbroken as their beloved teams will refrain from playing the season.

University+of+Michigan%27s+stadium%2C+also+known+as+%E2%80%9CThe+Big+House%E2%80%9D+%2C+is+the+largest+stadium+in+the+U.S.+and+3rd+largest+stadium+in+the+world.

University of Michigan athletics

University of Michigan's stadium, also known as “The Big House” , is the largest stadium in the U.S. and 3rd largest stadium in the world.

Mya Mooney, Staff Writer

As the fall season approaches, many people are eagerly awaiting the college football season to start, tailgating, house parties , and the roaring sounds of fans. Except, that will not be happening for any Big Ten fans, as on August 11th, Big 10 commissioner Kevin Warren made the decision to postpone the 2020 season. Fans from all over the country voiced their dismay and disappointment on the decision on social media platforms. Although diehard fans may think it feels like the end of the world, the most impacted group of people in the situation at hand are the football players themselves. These young men spend hours upon hours practicing to perfect their game, so the announcement of the season being postponed was a hard blow, leading some to even start petitions.

Eric All, a sophomore at the University of Michigan, a letterwinning tight end standing at 6-4, is now left with no season to play. “My initial reaction was devastation, not only because I wasn’t gonna be able to play, but for all the fifth-year seniors that had a great chance to increase their stock on making it to the league.” Since the initial reaction, All has accepted the decision and plans to focus on being the best he can be. Unlike the Big Ten, the SEC and other teams such as the ACC kickoff in September; they evaluated the risk of COVID, and deemed it safe, even implementing mandatory COVID tests weekly.  While it would be easy to be jealous of another conference playing, All feels no envy against the SEC, saying, “I have good friends in other conferences and I’m happy for them that they have the opportunity to play.” His positive mindset can only benefit him from here on out; instead of letting this setback determine his drive to excel at his sport and pity himself, All will continue to work for his future seasons.

After three or even four years (5th year seniors) of putting endless amounts of time on and off the field, players will not be seeing the end of their college career the way they intended. Those who did not enter the 2020 NFL Draft last year will be left with no new stats for the 2021 draft, which in return could greatly lessen the chance of them making it to the league, compared to that of teams playing this fall. Michigan State linebacker Antjuan Simmons is in that position now, a three-year letter winner, with 156 career tackles, and 39 career games, is now a senior left with no season. Simmons does not let this damper his dedication the game.  He believes there are positives of this break, saying, “I think this will benefit us even more because we have more time to learn the system, getting to know one another, and Coach Novak (new strength coach) can continue to implement the new strength program.” Simmons is not letting the season’s outcome be a waste of his talent and hard work, but is making the best out of the hand he was given. In the middle of all this confusion surrounding NCAA football this year, Simmons has not only grown as a player but grown in himself as well, stating, “I have grown more adaptable to the things that I may face or go through; it has led me to keep an open mind.” Even in the hardest of trials, it proves again and again that those facing it will grow in some way and come out stronger. Simmons has yet to announce whether he will enter the draft or stay for a 5th year at Michigan State, but either way this young man has had an impressive college football run to this date.

The future of the Big Ten’s 2020 season is still unknown, but regardless of that these young men will continue to put in hours of blood, sweat, and tears to make sure they come back with a vengeance.