Here in Texas it is almost time for high school football as 6A and 5A teams prepare to kick off this year’s season on September 24-26, some four weeks later than the original August 27-29 start date. When talking about 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A, they will move forward just as originally planned with play starting on August 27-29. So, we already knew all that—so now what’s the point? The point is that the UIL didn’t know what to do and they could never make everybody happy. By splitting the schedule it looks like they didn’t even try and the one thing that coaches preach to students is leadership and the UIL showed in this plan that they, like everything else in this country, couldn’t practice their own sermon.
Here is the point: It is either safe to play or it isn’t.
The rules say that it is safe for Miller and Calallen to play. Flour Bluff and Veterans Memorial can’t.
Robstown, Kingsville-Zapata, Alice and Tuloso-Midway can play starting on August 27-29. Moody, Ray, King and Carroll can’t—at least until September 24-26.
What exactly does this decision do? Was the UIL saying that kids in smaller schools can’t get sick or was the UIL just saying that they didn’t care if they get sick or not? Were they saying that somehow you won’t get sick in late September if a 350 lineman is breathing and slobbering into your face mask?
The plan makes zero sense at all and when the UIL was forced with making a tough decision, they proved that they were like everybody else in leadership in America—incapable of making a hard decision, so they played it down the middle.
I really do understand the point that a lot of kids want to play football and that a lot of parents, alumni and fans are even more obsessed with it than the kids. If you would have taken sports away from me at that age I would have been destroyed at not being able to take the field with my friends. Come to think of it, the people of Floresville who depended on the team for entertainment and gossip would have been equally, if not more devastated.
The problem that this schedule poses is multi-fold, but it is also simple: Adults should be able to lead, but we won’t. We do what we American’s do best and we split the ticket right down the middle as to play sides of the fence. That is what the UIL did and that is what the State of Texas is doing on this entire return to school thing.
As I write this Nueces County just went up ten more deaths taking the total of dead now to 227, including several respected local community leaders. Let’s just ask the tough question: Is it real to you yet, or is it still just the flu?
It is not political, though we want to make it that way. It isn’t left versus right or purple versus green. This is reality and that reality is that the UIL ruling is nothing more than a false hope that things will someday return to normal. I guess that I don’t need to remind you that cases aren’t really going down at all, and you’d know that if we had some real transparency and open government.
Matt Pierce Briscoe is the author of this article. He is also the Publisher and Managing Editor of The Southside Light News.