Opinion: Big Ten football should start this weekend

Justin+Fields+returns+as+the+Buckeyes%27+top+offensive+talent.++Ohio+State+begins+the+season+Saturday+against+Nebraska.

Official Ohio State football website

Justin Fields returns as the Buckeyes’ top offensive talent. Ohio State begins the season Saturday against Nebraska.

Mark Gombita, Guest Writer

Big Ten football has been a huge part of many students’ and families’ lives for a long time, and we should all agree that the Big Ten’s decision to start their season in October was the correct move.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer made headlines around the Midwest when she recently took the stand to support a Big Ten football season during the pandemic. Whitmer said in a press conference, “I think every one of us is interested in football, every one of us is tired of COVID-19, I am, too.  This has been a tough time, there’s no question, and I want to resume some activities that I would ordinarily be doing in the fall, like going to a football game.’”

English teacher Alexandra Shaw played college sports and admits that she too understands the fans’ feelings. She said, “Big Ten football could be a very hopeful event during such a tragic time. The atmosphere of these college games is important to fans.”

With the 11-3 vote from all 14 teams of the Big Ten to reverse the postponement of the football season, not only do fans get to benefit from this, but players and coaches do as well. This is very important to them because they are able to continue their legacy and improve their coaching and football skills.

The absence of Big Ten games earlier in the fall made national news when President Donald Trump said he disapproved of their plan to not play football.  Trump said, “I think they want to play, and the fans want to see it, and the players have a lot at stake, including possibly playing in the NFL.”

Shaw, who participated in track and field at Baldwin Wallace, understands these opportunities to be great while playing a college sport. She said, “Something that I’ve been really sympathetic to is that feeling of being an athlete and losing out on your chance just because of a situation that is out of your control. These kids have been working so hard and they miss out on that opportunity, which sucks.”

Personally, I am extremely grateful that Big Ten football fans are able to see their favorite teams play on Saturdays and enjoy time with family during these trying times. Ethan Elliott, a junior who loves college football, completely agrees. He said, “I think Big Ten is important to fans because they love the game and without the season, many could be left feeling disappointed.”

Elliott also admits that love for the game is also a factor with the student-athletes and their coaches. He said, “The players as well as the coaches will benefit from the season starting because the players get to go out and do what they love.”

Businesses also have a chance to improve when college football starts up again since the COVID-19 pandemic devastated their restaurants. These bars and restaurants have been there for many Big Ten football fans for years, so they don’t deserve to be suffering due to a season postponement.

Emma Scott Moran of “The Columbus Dispatch” wrote about restaurants struggling to stay open because of cancelled Ohio State football games.  One such restaurant is the Varsity Club in Willard, Oh.  Moran writes, “Varsity Club general manager Tony Mollica, who describes his business as a football restaurant, said that the good news will have a big impact on restaurant owners, customer and sports fans alike.”

A virus should not determine a player’s future, a coach’s legacy, or a business’s success; instead, the game of football is supposed to bring light in this uncertain time of darkness.  Thank you, Big Ten, for allowing football to happen this weekend.