I feel a little bit like Charlton Heston right now:
Except that he was sad, and I’m ecstatic.
Word comes that the NCAA is going to cancel college football. I’m like a kid in a candy store. Where to begin?
Orwell said “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men,” so let’s start with the obvious: Some colleges are going to close because of this. I don’t have numbers for you — university account books being harder to find than dark matter — but I do have long experience in the ivory tower, at every level, and I can assure you that your basic college town is fucked.
My pseudonymous former employer, “Flyover State,” was of course an amalgam of several different institutions, but one thing they had in common was a fanatical devotion to — and a fatal dependence on — the football team. Not that the football team was any good, but that didn’t matter. They’d built their brand over decades, to the point that they’d often make one of those late-December bowl games just on the strength of their traveling fan base. They got all the perks the NCAA affords to bigtime programs — more home than away games, padded schedules — such that the population of College Town probably doubled every home Saturday.
What all of this meant was that the entire ecosystem of College Town depended upon those football Saturdays. The massive influx of drinkers to the student bars on football Saturdays enabled them to stay open over the dead months of summer vacation. Ditto restaurants, hotels, memorabilia shops… hell, I knew people who made a few hundred to a few thousand dollars every fall renting out their lawns for overflow stadium parking. There’s no way a lot of them will survive the hit.
And that’s just the immediate short run. I have no way of knowing, but I’d bet enrollment numbers are WAY down already. Indeed, if one were a cynic, one might theorize that the NCAA only waited this long to announce football’s cancellation to make sure that all those student room-and-board checks cleared. The last I heard (via friends still in the system), Flyover State’s plan was to make students come back to campus, but wear masks in their dorms while “attending” classes online.
No, really — that was their plan. They were really going to do that. Kids would have to physically attend things like chem labs — masked up and socially distanced, of course, never mind they don’t nearly have the facilities to make that feasible — but everything else online.
At full tuition.
Never mind that these same colleges fought tooth-and-claw against online education for years, because the in-person student experience is so vital to learning. Never mind that the state community college system (of which there’s a branch in every town of any size) offers the exact same online classes — fully transferable to Flyover State! — at 1/20th the cost. And never mind that Flyover State, like all colleges in this Diversity-mad country, makes a huge deal out of its high percentage of international students. Take it together, and you can change the college motto: “Come to Flyover State, where you’ll sit in a biohazard suit taking classes on your computer while surrounded by kids who are literally from Wuhan, because Diversity Is Our Strength.”
Again: at full tuition. And now with no football to take your mind off it.
If nothing else, this should disprove the idea that any of this is coordinated. Like everyone else with half a brain cell in his head, I’m sure that the Media et al are cheering for the ongoing plague, in that they believe it will hurt Orange Man. But as we’ve seen with the “Russiagate” thing, these idiots are so used to smelling their own farts on Twitter all day that they end up believing their own propaganda. Here again, I still have buddies in the university system, and I can assure you that eggheads are the Branch Covidians to end all Branch Covidians. They’re convinced, utterly convinced, that people are dropping dead in the streets, that hospitals are stacking bodies out in the parking lots, that even being in the same zip code as someone with the sniffles a death sentence. It might’ve started out as a convenient clickbait-y cudgel with which to beat Orange Man, but they’re True Believers now.
They will continue believing this even after they’re turfed out, begging for scraps on street corners while holding signs reading “Will teach your children to hate America for food.”
Have I mentioned recently how much I’m coming to love Corona?Loading Likes...