Every week the college football stands seem to be fuller and fuller as fans enter the stadium with coverings over their faces, but by halftime, things look very different. No face masks, people screaming and saliva latching on to ride the breeze. Just an all-around dangerous environment when we’re in the midst of a global pandemic.
That’s been the story of this college football season.
However, this week that is being overshadowed by another COVID-related college sports story. According to The New York Post, Fox Sports’ college football pregame show Big Noon Kickoff will be off the air this week due to potential COVID-19 exposure.
Urban Meyer, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, Brady Quinn, and Rob Stone will not be present this week “out of an abundance of caution.” They’ll be replaced by Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Emmanuel Acho and host Charissa Thompson.
There are still so many questions with this story. How were the guys exposed? Do any of the talent and crew have COVID-19?
We are in the dark.
At this point, nothing is surprising with COVID-19 in sports. All five of these guys being thrown into isolation for possible exposure follows the college culture and behavior displayed this season.
While separate entities, I’m arriving at the sad conclusion that college football fans and the Fox broadcasting crew are two sides of the same coin. A recurring thread is a nonchalant attitude toward the virus.
For most Americans, sliding into uneasiness and longing for “normalcy,” nonchalance is pretty common at this point. But we can’t succumb to those feelings.
We have to use common sense.
Big Noon Kickoff is still traveling to the games of the week. Their pregame set is placed where it’s always been in the stadiums. They are still doing most things as they did pre-pandemic even though all the signs are there; they shouldn’t.
This isn’t to say any of the Big Noon Kickoff hosts were exposed to COVID-19 last week in Columbus, but why can’t they film live in-studio? I know for scenic purposes, it’s nice to be in the mix, but a pandemic is going on, people. Fox NFL pregame mostly films in-studio, but why can’t Big Noon Kickoff do the same under these unique circumstances?
The reporter has to be at the game but the pregame hosts and crew don’t. This should be something they consider moving forward. Everyone’s safety and protection should be at the top of any list of priorities, and, not surprisingly, it hasn’t been thus far.
At this point, anything that happens regarding this virus is a choice.