Ole Miss football and Rebels fans are facing a ‘new normal’ because of the Covid-19 pandemic so this Grove Grinder takes a look at what it means.
It’s been a rough spring and summer for many Ole Miss football fans. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic lives have been thrust into near chaos. Rebels were forced to social distance and wound up spending much of the pandemic in self-isolation with only their direct families. Most families couldn’t even attend social activities or religious services. Needless to say, this was a feat for many. Most people felt the economic impact that resulted from furloughs with many local businesses completely shutting their doors for good. It’s been tough.
The pandemic took away spring and summer sports and in most cases, this was tough for athletes of all ages. Some athletes, most younger ages, were forced to stay indoors with no opportunity to practice. Most senior high school baseball players who would have played their final seasons in 2020 actually played their final seasons in their junior year in 2019. Some college programs will survive to play again while some college sports programs were completely dismantled. The pandemic has been tough on all of us and has produced the ‘new normal’.
The New Norm Means Changes
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Many people doubt there will ever again be normal which we were used to just a short time ago. The pandemic changed everything about life in a near instance and it changed it forever. It has changed the way people did everything.
Covid-19 changed the way we interact with family, friends, neighbors, and especially strangers. It changed the way we worked, studied, worshipped, socialized, and even shopped. It especially changed the way we look at politics and local, state, and federal governments.
Now, we will see how it will change sports. Rebels fans still don’t know for sure if we will have a 2020 Ole Miss football season. There is no idea how the season will look if we do have one but fans can be sure it will look much different. There will be no choice but to survive the results.
Detailing The New Norm
This past Friday Major League Baseball began its abbreviated season. While some people may not like professional sports, it doesn’t negate the fact of what pro baseball fans watched. The game looked the same on the field but the games were played in virtually empty stadiums. This is also how other professional sports will look and how college football may change as well. The new norm will not be pleasant.
Expect a whole new age for college football and especially among Power5 conferences. OHT has already addressed some of the major issues which college football will face. We know how crowded college stadiums can become. We know the halftime march to food stands and restrooms can be overwhelming. How will college programs deal with just those issues alone?
How will college programs deal with social distancing? One has to believe it will require significant monitoring even if attendance is cut by one-third or even one-half. Will six feet be enough? Will a mask be required and if so will the rule be enforced? What about tailgating and social distancing outside the stadium? The whole thing will be a logistical nightmare for any Power5 conference program.
Of course, one has to consider the economic impact any college football program will face as a result of Covid-19. If a program cuts attendance then it means a loss in ticket sales. If they are required to add staff to maintain a safe environment for those in attendance then there will be even more financial loss.
We have to assume ticket prices will increase as well as the cost concessions and memorabilia. While college programs will lose money so will the die-hard fans who want to continue to support their favorite teams. Get ready for it because it will happen. This will become the new norm in the college football fan’s life.
So Ole Miss football fans continue to wait and see about the fate of the 2020 college football season. While we wait we have to be prepared for what may or may not happen. However, it will change college football forever just like every other aspect of our lives. For now, stay safe and always Hotty Toddy!