Omicron Is Causing Sports Problems

The NHL postpones Monday’s slate of games, and college football has been impacted.

The National Hockey League’s Christmas break is lasting a little longer than the original three-day vacation because of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Rutgers will be playing in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida on December 31st because Texas A and M, the school originally selected to face Wake Forest, had too many players infected with COVID-19 and had to say no to Gator Bowl officials. The Hawai’i Bowl was canceled as the University of Hawai’i had a COVID-19 outbreak. The cancellation was the day before the game and there was no time to find a replacement team to take on the University of Memphis. The NCAA football oversight committee has ruled that any bowl game can be moved to as late as January 10th, 2022 should the schools involved need additional time to prepare in the event of an Omicron outbreak. Well maybe not all bowl games as there is this thing called the playoffs which is supposed to take place with a pair of games on December 31st.  Alabama takes on Cincinnati in Dallas and Michigan plays Georgia in South Florida. COVID-19 cases are soaring in Florida.

The powers of the college football industry have a COVID-19 problem. College football poohbahs cannot control COVID-19 but they are willing to punish any of the four schools competing for the college football championship with a forfeit should there be a COVID-19 outbreak and there are not enough players to perform. If a team is unable to play in a semifinal game, it will forfeit. That edict will allow the opponent to move ahead to the title game on January 10th, 2022. If the teams in one of the semifinal matchups are not able to compete, the winner of the other semifinal will be the national champion. The college football powers don’t care about public health. Their show must go on.

Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191  

FILE – The Hawaii team takes the field before an NCAA college football game against Nevada in Reno, Nev., Oct. 16, 2021. The Hawaii Bowl was canceled Thursday, Dec. 23, on the eve of the game after Hawaii withdrew because of COVID-19, season-ending injuries and transfers. “We are disappointed our season has to end this way,” Hawaii coach Todd Graham said in a statement. “As competitive as we are and as much as we want to play the game, we cannot put the health and safety of our student-athletes at risk.” (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes, File)