1) Football is back. It is glorious and fun and needed…and weird. I watched Chiefs/Texans on Thursday night (more in a bit). Then I watched parts of Iowa State/Louisiana, Kansas State/Arkansas State, Florida State/Georgia Tech, North Carolina/Syracuse, Clemson/Wake Forest and Kansas/Coastal Carolina. And in all of them it seemed like I was watching a game, but maybe more like a practice game. I’m sure part of it is because of the lack of crowds and atmosphere. I think part of it is just that we haven’t had the fall camp run up or the preseason games in the NFL. I’m used to having some things to watch before we watch a game that counts and we didn’t have that. It’s not necessarily worse, it’s just different. I’m thrilled to have games to watch, but it’s going to take a minute before I’m in full “Oh, hey, this is a football season” mode.
2) One thing the pandemic didn’t change is the reaction of fans. I don’t know why I necessarily thought it would. I think there will be some who take a long view of a season and understand all the things that are weird and that things are going to look a little bit different, and probably worse. But there are a lot of Iowa State fans that want Matt Campell gone this morning. A lot of Kansas State fans suddenly don’t think Chris Klieman is the savior. I doubt Matt Wells is hugely popular in Lubbock and Kansas fans are figuring out why Les Miles was available for them to hire. I thought Eli Drinkwitz put it well: “Nobody really cares about the excuse, they just expect the performance. Whether it’s the fifth left guard or the first left guard, they’re going to expect a performance that meets their expectation…They expect that when you compete your team wins.”
3) Here’s my overwhelming takeaway from the first weekend I really watched: If you gamble on games this year, you should immediately enroll yourself in a 12-step program.
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