Here’s what’s going in inside Darnell’s head. Just wanted to remind everybody to relax; We’re all crazy. It’s not a competition.
BYU football fans had about five days to revel in how well their Cougars played in thrashing Navy last Monday. Visions of undefeated seasons danced in their heads. They giggled when talking to their poor Ute friends who don’t even have football this fall.
On Saturday, the bombshell dropped: The Sept. 19 game at Army has been postponed due to a number of positive COVID-19 tests among the Cougars.
It’s been said God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently, God has very high expectations for BYU football fans.
Opinions and responses varied. Some fans are still hopeful that the game can be rescheduled. The teams share two open dates in Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, though the Cadets would have to give up a bye week before the Navy game for the latter.
Others feel as if this just marks the beginning of a terrible trend that will end the Cougars season.
This is very unfortunate for BYU because the team can’t practice fully together during the quarantine, just in small groups. It will be difficult to maintain the momentum they had built throughout the summer and first game. The Cougars are a veteran group and have spent the past six months dealing with all the uncertainty of the coronavirus, so maybe they can keep focused and be ready for the Sept. 26 meeting at home against Troy.
Meanwhile, BYU fans on social media continue to play the “Why can’t we have nice things?” card.
Who’s coming to the game?
BYU has allotted 6,000 tickets for the meeting with Troy. The players have been told they will be taken care of with tickets for their families. Season ticket holders will get the opportunity to go and some tickets have been set aside for students. Here’s a thought: What if all 6,000 tickets aren’t sold? Sure, the Cougars generally get more than 50,000 at LES for home games, but it’s entirely possible that some fans aren’t going to be comfortable heading into a closed environment, even if social distancing is allowed. I’m sure BYU brass have a plan, but that would be really awkward if they were’’t able to distribute all of the tickets.
Kids will be kids
There’s really no way of knowing the complete story of how several BYU football players contracted the COVID-19 virus. They are college students and social interaction is part of their existence. Conspiracy theorists can blame the “Young and Dumb” parties in Provo but this was probably inevitable. I’m sure BYU considered this a possibility and planned accordingly.
I also wonder if something like this can affect chemistry on the team. For instance, if one of the captains or team leaders finds out that another player went to a party and infected others on the team, could that cause resentment or hard feelings?
The sound of football
One good thing about playing in empty or partially empty stadiums is that you can hear the players and coaches a lot more. You can also really hear the pads popping as well. It was interesting watching BYU players celebrate and encourage each other during the Navy game. Makes me feel like I’m watching a high school football game — which I have been pretty much every week. Thank goodness those fellas have been observing social distancing and staying healthy.
Here’s the vote
BYU is 21st in this week’s AP Top 25 and 22nd in the Coaches Poll. Not bad after not being ranked going into the season. Army is 23rd and 25th, respectively. Interestingly, Boise State received six votes in the AP poll and 15 in the Coaches Poll, even though all of their games have been postponed.
Let’s play ball
The NCAA is in the final stages of approving a start to the college basketball season. Latest indications are that the season will start on Nov. 21. Last year, BYU played its first exhibition game on Nov. 1, so the 2020-21 season will begin about three weeks later than normal.
I’m really interested in how Mark Pope gets this varied and eclectic roster to come together.
What might have been
I can’t tell you how good it was to watch the BYU women’s soccer scrimmage on Saturday. BYUtv made it available online and the Blue beat the White 5-2. This just in: All-American Mikayla Colohan is still really, really good. She had a hat trick (three goals) and two assists.
BYUtv is also making plans to make available scrimmages from other sports like volleyball, baseball and softball, so stay tuned.
Did you see that?
The Daily Mirror has reported a seventh sighting of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland this year.
So it appears that anything is possible in 2020.
Pros will pro
The NFL got started last Thursday but the full slate of action was available on Sunday, with two games scheduled for Monday night. Not many things better than watching Taysom Hill, Jamaal Williams, Kyle Van Noy and others showing off their talents on the biggest stage possible.
That’s all I’ve got, but for this: Remember that the first 40 years of childhood are the hardest.
Stay safe and healthy and have a great week.