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Conflicted

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

by Jason Ross — Radio play-by-play announcer for Sacramento State Hornets football

How many times have you heard this phrase this year, “what day is it?”

Since the start of Covid-19 the days have run together and at times even the months. One thing is for sure we will never forget the year.

2020 has been an all-timer.

Sometimes just looking at a calendar can take you to a place of familiarity. It is now September. What? Yes, the 9th month of the year that normally signals the start of the NFL and college football too.

I normally love this time of year. Growing up a college football fan has given me so many years of memories in this sport. Sitting in the stands for a Notre Dame home game, witnessing over 100,000 for the Rose Bowl, and amped beyond belief for all the UCLA/USC games I have seen in person. I have been to stadiums all across this country as a fan and as a broadcaster.

There’s nothing quite like a Saturday in the late Summer or Fall at a college stadium that is eagerly awaiting a big game.

With that said, this weekend was supposed to be the start of my 24th season of calling football for Sacramento State. Stingers Up!

There have been too many tough seasons to count but last year was special. The Hornets did something they have never done before. They finished in first place and shared a Big Sky title. They beat ranked teams, they themselves were ranked in the top 5, they hosted a playoff game, they were good. It was such a special ride that I will never forget.

Before last season most of the Sacramento State Hornet memories came on strong individual games, any Causeway Classic win or on the rare occasion they would shock a team from the FCS level. In fact we are closing in on 2 vivid memories with Sacramento State Football.

In September of 2011 the Hornets pulled off a HUGE upset by beating Oregon State:

September 3, 2011: Sacramento State 29, Oregon State 28

Just one year later in Colorado, Sacramento State did it again against the Buffaloes.

September 8, 2012: Sacramento State 30, Colorado 28

This year we will not have any college football out west. Not in 2020 at least.

I do like the idea of pushing football to the spring because I will desperately miss it and it gives everyone more time to figure out the best way to do this.

It has to be safe.

I know many believe that delaying football is an over-reaction. This isn’t professional sports. For schools like Sacramento State and UC Davis to execute this properly it will come at a huge financial expense. The NBA had a plan, a multi-million-dollar plan to put everyone in a bubble at Disney World. College football can’t do this.

They shouldn’t be expected to be able to pull that off either.

More time gives scientist and the medical field opportunity to learn even more about this virus. More time gives college football out West a chance to observe the other sports. How does the ACC, the SEC, the Big 12, MLB, and the NFL’s protocols work? What can they take from them and implement for college football out West? Watch and learn.

I want them to play, I want memories, I want to call games, but I don’t want Covid-19. I don’t want anyone to come across it. I won’t live in fear, I will rely on hope. College football is a game that I love, but life is far more important.

Let’s get it right, let’s do it safely and let’s make some more memories.

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