Except, some of that unpaid labor is taking a look at the landscape and saying “no thanks” to this.
Michigan quarterback Dylan McCaffrey, who took part in a protest march a week-and-a-half ago to urge the Big Ten to play football, decided on Wednesday to opt out of the season and seek a transfer.
Maybe that’s because McCaffrey wasn’t going to win the starting job for the Wolverines, but a half-dozen Big Ten players, including Michigan receiver Nico Collins, offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield, and cornerback Ambry Thomas, have decided to declare for the NFL draft and, according to Sports Illustrated, signed with agents.
Michigan was ranked 16th in the AP’s preseason poll, fourth among Big Ten teams behind Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin. Last year, the Wolverines were third in their division behind the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions. They will enter this season with a new quarterback and without three pro prospects.
In Michigan as a whole, and in Washtenaw County, where Ann Arbor is, the highest rate of coronavirus cases has been among Black people, and the highest total number of cases of any age bracket has been 20-29. What might that mean for Michigan football? That’s a ridiculous question to be asking, given that this is a deadly virus and people’s lives are at stake, but this is where idiot decision-makers have brought us. Anyway, the answer is that it’s going to be a real challenge to do this safely when, rather than in a bubble environment like the NBA or NHL, you’re talking about college students on a campus. It would be absolutely stunning if the Wolverines get through October to December without some kind of impact from the pandemic on their roster.
Trump and his flunkies may be celebrating the return of the Big Ten because of what they think it will mean politically, but this is going to be the Trump Steaks version of Big Ten football, and particularly Michigan football — and make no mistake, the swing states of Michigan and Wisconsin are why right-wing hacks were so interested in this. What political gain is there to be had, though, from Michiganders spending three hours on the Saturday before Election Day watching Iowa, Purdue, or whomever winds up on the schedule, walking into an empty Big House and handing a two-touchdown loss to a half-baked Wolverines team?
If, that is, those Michiganders watch at all. After all, having had so much talk about how everyone missed football, ratings for Week 1 of the NFL season were way down.
And speaking of ratings, noted media analyst Mark Cuban made a good point on Twitter that the NBA playoff games on Tuesday night drew more viewers than Trump’s town hall on ABC, which is almost too bad because more people should be like Bill Russell and be aware of how truly far off the deep end this guy is.
Did you see the Dodgers’ tweet celebrating Los Angeles being the first team to clinch a berth in the baseball playoffs?
Kiké Hernandez’s shrugging sums up this whole experience, doesn’t it?
Only 15 postseason spots left up for grabs. The Mets, at 21-27 after their comeback win in Philadelphia, are playing meaningful games in September one last time for Fred Wilpon, but Jacob deGrom had to leave with a hamstring injury, endangering his bid for a third straight Cy Young.