Will we play? It's only June and 2020 season already has plenty of intrigue
|Friday, June 26, 2020, 8:01 AM- -|
We already knew the 2020 football season was going to be different, and Thursday’s announcement from Clemson that the school was going to a mobile-only ticketing system only adds to the intrigue.
What will the season look like? I don’t know. I wish I knew. I wish I had confirmation that the season would be played, but that likely won’t come for weeks. However, I am still optimistic that we will see football in Death Valley this season.
In case you missed it, the school announced Thursday that mobile ticketing is here and will be the only form of ticketing going forward.
The school says that digital ticketing allows fans greater convenience and safety, and can reduce the impacts of counterfeit tickets. Fans will no longer receive a printed ticket booklet or have the option to print at home, and those that paid will be refunded the printing fee. All fans will receive their tickets via mobile delivery. Details for how to access the tickets will come at a later date.
The only ones that will receive the paper tickets will likely be members of the players’ families, who pick up their tickets on game day.
I see on social media every day that the number of cases in not only South Carolina but across the South is causing people to have doubts that there will be football this season. Those concerns are legitimate, but everyone I have spoken with at Clemson continues to reiterate that the plan is to play football. I was further encouraged when I was told that the school can wait up until August 28th – two months from now – before sending out season tickets.
I did hear through the grapevine Thursday that one instate school will shortly announce that there will no tailgating at their football games. That would be a blow in Clemson, to be sure, because we love nothing more than arriving as early as possible and leaving only when we’re kicked out of the lots.
How many fans will be allowed in the stadium? At this point, it’s hard to imagine that stadiums will be full, at least to start the season. Who gets the tickets? My guess is that boosters will get first dibs. Still, all of that is unknown.
I spoke with one former coach recently who said that with all of the unknowns – and with all of the uncertainty surrounding which players might and might not be available – games could tend towards being sloppy. It also means that the teams who have the most depth – Clemson and Bama and Ohio State – have the best chance of surviving the season.
I had an interesting conversation with a sports doctor this week who also clued me in to potential challenges that teams will face. It sounds like quarterbacks won’t be allowed to study together or gameplan in the same room, because if you lose two or three quarterbacks to COVID-19 the week of the game — you will be like Maryland a few years ago and have a linebacker running the option. That won’t be good for anyone.
The City of Clemson announced earlier this week that masks would be mandatory inside businesses in the city limits, and several restaurants and bars have shut down. Clemson was, for the most part, a tiny part of the nation that COVID-19 had yet to touch. Now the area is a hot spot and numbers need to come down, way down, before employees will be allowed back on campus and before students are allowed to take in-person classes. Remember – we need to be in Phase 3 before school can go on normally, and Phase 2 was scheduled to start June 15th. Phase 2 has not started, and with the recent spikes in numbers, I don’t see it starting soon. Hopefully the numbers will start to lessen and we can go to Phase 2 by July 15th and Phase 3 by August 1st.
That is what I am hoping for.