I’ve been back in the SEC two days, and I’ve already lost track of how many college football references have cropped up in conversation. My college freshman brother, never a particularly big football fan, was checking the score between Florida and Florida Atlantic because, as he informed me, several of his friends were there. We met extended family for dinner, and my uncle excitedly filled us in on Notre Dame’s overtime win over Florida State while my aunt told us about getting skybox seats to watch the Florida Gators.
I’ve never been the most knowledgeable college football fan, but I have fond childhood memories of doing the Gator chomp while wearing orange and blue at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Going to college in northern Virginia, I was mystified to learn that most of my friends from the rest of the country cared more about the NFL than college sports.
But even for a non-expert like myself, the camaraderie and nostalgia of college football are heartwarming. There’s nothing like linking arms and singing with 80,000 strangers with whom you may have nothing in common but allegiance to a particular team.
As the first week of college football has — am I allowed to say kicked off? — it’s worth remembering that none of it would have happened if Dr. Anthony Fauci had his way. Thankfully, no one seems to be paying attention to his orders, or his personal vendetta against anyone anywhere ever going back to normal.
College football is off to a glorious start, and Fauci is powerless to keep it from happening. Even the federally-funded military academies ignored Fauci’s fearmongering, starting off the season with games on Saturday.
More than 50 college football games were played Saturday in packed stadiums across America, and it was beautiful.
The fear mongering mob telling people to stay inside forever lost, and they lost in a big way. https://t.co/6BRDjfpwGq
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) September 5, 2021
Welcome back college football! pic.twitter.com/DB4nvA1YDA
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) September 5, 2021
— Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) September 4, 2021
Even in the Rose Bowl last night. Masks were required to enter, but I'd say 95% or more stripped the mask right after entering and notb1 person asked me to put my mask on. pic.twitter.com/ks3Im8VAtN
— Robert Mapalo (@moppy_5) September 5, 2021
After seeing sports from the NBA to the NFL to the Olympics so politicized, many expressed relief at the patriotism on display at college games.
College Football players stood for the anthem, fans packed the stadiums mask-less, and teams steered away from politics this weekend.
The NBA, NFL, and MLB should takes notes!
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) September 5, 2021
Flyover at A&M red, white, and blue game. ‘Merica! pic.twitter.com/3BNO5LdRzn
— TomBenich (@TomBenich) September 5, 2021
Nuff said pic.twitter.com/0z3sfv86vz
— Mark Passwaters (@mbpRivals) September 5, 2021
Fans even took the opportunity to make it clear they don’t care what President Joe Biden thinks, either. In a spirited (if crass) display of defiance, chants of “f-ck Joe Biden” erupted at at least four games over the first week of college football.
— Old Row Sports (@OldRowSports) September 5, 2021
Meanwhile, unable to sit quietly by while Americans enjoyed the long weekend in football stadiums, Fauci popped up Tuesday morning on CNN to make sure we all knew he doesn’t think college football games are “smart.”
Dr. Fauci criticizes colleges for hosting packed college football games: “I don’t think it’s smart” pic.twitter.com/Jlappir5K9
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 7, 2021
Fauci wasn’t the only one who couldn’t stand watching the rest of the country have fun. Blue checkmarks and media outlets couldn’t stop themselves from expressing their fearful horror.
Dozens of college football games on TV yesterday with 100's of thousands fans in the stadium and not one word about Covid risk, vaccines or masks. It's the latest example of how we don't take Covid seriously and the Sports media turning a blind eye for profit.
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) September 5, 2021
One even listed crises created by Democrats’ lockdowns and COVID restrictions, alongside the Biden administrations’ inflation and Afghanistan crises, and concluded with the takeaway that conservatives shouldn’t dare enjoy a college football game.
“Will college football games become covid-19 coronavirus superspreader events?” asked Forbes.
This weekend people circulated footage of packed crowds in college football stadiums using the word "CHILLS." This in the middle of the #COVID19 #coronavirus pandemic w/ cases, hospitalizations & deaths surging
Here's my coverage for @Forbes #epitwitterhttps://t.co/fC7Xb6Dcua
— Bruce Y. Lee (@bruce_y_lee) September 6, 2021
One woman even compared the United States to New Zealand, which went into nationwide lockdown over a single COVID-19 case and instructed citizens, “Do not talk to your neighbors.”