Coach O knows how important football is to the United States of America.
Ed Orgeron painted it a clear picture on the importance of football in the United States.
The LSU football head coach met with Vice President Mike Pence when he was in town for a visit on Tuesday. During a roundtable discussion at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Orgeron offered the following on the importance of opening schools and playing football in the fall.
“We need to play. This state needs it. This country needs it,” said Orgeron and getting an applause out of Pence. “This [coronavirus] can be handled…”I don’t think we can take this away from our players, take this away from our state and our country. We need football. Football is the lifeblood of our country.”
We know we need football, but will we get it this fall in the United States?
Orgeron isn’t the only Power 5 head coach of note to feel confident about getting college football this fall. Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley exuded confidence on us getting a season in some capacity in the coming months, whether that’s in some form this fall or in the spring. While Orgeron may not echo Riley’s sentiments of spring football, he wants football.
It’s not just college football that will be affected here. Orgeron is obviously talking about at the high school level. Sure, the NFL will figure out a way to play, as it’s a sport featuring exclusively professional athletes. At its core, the NFL is a television product. Those who don’t get that may never get that. Regardless, football is so much more than a form of entertainment for Americans.
Football is the ultimate team sport, one of great sacrifice. Football practice is hard. You get beat up. Learning a playbook is difficult and executing a play as a team is even harder. Only a handful of players on a team even get to touch the ball. However, it is a great unifier for people of all walks of life, striving to reach a common goal as a team. It’s why the sport resonates so much with us.
Of course, the health and safety of all players are paramount in the age of the coronavirus. Though we’re surely getting it from the NFL and probably from college football, how sure are we football will be played at the high school or youth levels this fall? For some small communities, high school sports are everything. At its core, the sport of football is a great equalizer, as only the tough prevail.
Coach O says we need football, but it remains to be seen if we’ll be denied our country’s lifeblood.