The college football season wrapped up on Monday night, and the result was maybe the most normal thing we’ve had all fall. Alabama beat Ohio State 52-24, an impressive final statement by Nick Saban’s program. Maria Taylor was on hand for the game, serving as one of ESPN’s sideline reporters.
This afternoon, Taylor shared her thoughts about the game, and this strange college football season as a whole. Most of all, she wanted to thank the players for giving us a season at all, something that looked very much in doubt through the summer (and some would argue, wasn’t appropriate even in retrospect).
“To the players: you have always sacrificed your bodies, but this year you sacrificed your mental wellness by enduring isolation. You couldn’t work from home, so you risked being infected with COVID-19 week in and week out. You helped keep your athletic associations afloat, you entertained us, you gave many of us a job (myself included),” Maria Taylor wrote in a note posted to Twitter.
“You taught me that fearlessly speaking out in the face of ignorance is not only an option, it’s necessary. I missed being in the same room with you, chatting after practices, meeting your parents and hearing you tell your stories in person. I’m inspired by you and I am forever grateful to you. I hope your always recognize your power & your worth. Looking forward to seeing you next season.”
A message to all CFB players…thank you ❤️🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/Ag1tWlhg2l
— Maria Taylor (@MariaTaylor) January 12, 2021
Hopefully that next season will come after COVID-19 is under control in this country. The vaccines are currently being rolled out, but it is unclear if we’ll hit a pace at which most of the country will be vaccinated in time for next season, or for teams to prepare through the spring and summer the way that they’re accustomed to.
Even with the season wrapping, it was not one without a cost. Aside from the shortened schedules and numerous canceled games, hundreds of college football players and many coaches tested position ahead of and during the season.
We can only hope that the long term effects of the virus are not serious, but we may not have an answer there for some time.