By Nick Beaulieu, Editor-In-Chief
The fall season is characterized by changing leaves, cool temperatures and the harvest of corn and pumpkins, but it’s not truly the season without football. It’s undeniable that autumn in America is dominated Friday, Saturday and Sunday by the pigskin.
Friday night lights with your high school sweetheart, tailgates starting at the break of dawn that always end a little hazy and Sunday night football before heading back to school or work the following day. Life without football is almost unimaginable.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha has now been without a football team for its fourth year, and I’m not mad about it one bit. We’re a Division-1 institution preparing to compete nationally in the future. But when it comes to the college experience, especially in Nebraska, life without a football team to call your own is tough.
When students open Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Yik Yak, timelines are flooded with the sights and sounds of those celebrating their own team. And honestly, when it’s 6 p.m. on a Saturday in Omaha, it can feel a little empty.
With the amount of UNO students you can find in Lincoln, Neb. on Husker game days, you’d think our schools were interchangeable. And while having a football-lacking campus brings a hollow feel, the sport isn’t necessarily entering the brightest of times.
Within the last five years, concussion discussions within football have escalated. Dozens of former NFL and college football players are experiencing memory loss and Alzheimer’s at alarmingly young ages. Parents are starting to keep their children off the football field until they’re at the high school level, if not ever letting them give the sport a chance.
So is football in danger of going extinct? When you type ‘Will football’ into a Google search bar, two of the four suggested finishing phrases are “…disappear” and “…ever die out.” If you run a search on if football will ever become extinct, endless links from newspapers to blogs will at the very least address the topic.
Recently the NFL has undergone a firestorm of hell for the handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case and other ones. CFB has had its fair share of scandals from Penn State and Jerry Sandusky to Ohio State and Jim Tressel.
But will there ever be a tide strong enough to wash away such deep rooted and well-loved tradition in football?
It may never go away, but regulations forced by safety concerns could inevitably change the game enough to lessen the sport’s popularity.
I love football as much as the next red-blooded American. One of my favorite sports traditions is watching opening day of college football at the same bar and grill with the same family friends.
One of my favorite sports superstitions is waiting in the bathroom to spark a rally during Iowa football games (it works). I don’t want football to change or go away. It’s simply a reality that could be coming.
With the changing of the seasons comes the changing of feelings too. Before we know it, snow will be dropping, and with it will be pucks and basketballs.
What’s the best cure for the fall blues? I’m thinking ‘Mavsketball’ is the answer. Nov. 25 we travel to Pinnacle Bank Arena to take on Nebraska. I think that’s our time. Next Monday, the Mavs hit the ice in exhibition against NAIT. Let’s show them.
There’s another thing coming.