Who is ready for some football? If your answer to that question is “several bloggers,” you are both wrong and also right. Wrong in the sense that many of the bloggers involved do not even know that they are being conscripted into this and are by no means physically up to it, but right in the sense that there is a fine-print clause in the Defector operating agreement that allows all staffers to be drafted into emergency football service. And so: The Defector Idiots hereby invite the Nebraska Cornhuskers to meet us on the gridiron Saturday afternoon, so that we may challenge them in the sport of football.
The Huskers have an opening in their schedule this weekend, due to an unfortunate sequence of events related to the spread of the novel coronavirus. First, their scheduled opponent for this weekend, the Wisconsin Badgers, had to shut down their entire football operation due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Possibly this should’ve been taken as a solid indication that attempting to run a college football program during a pandemic is a bad and dangerous and foolhardy idea. Instead, the Huskers chose to view this challenge as an opportunity and not a setback, and sought to fill the spot with an out-of-conference opponent.
The Big Ten Conference, of which Nebraska is a member institution, determined back in the summer that out-of-conference opponents could not be used to fill canceled dates with conference schools, but Nebraska was undaunted by anything as silly and made-up as safety protocols and reasonable restrictions and it being a patently crazy idea to play college football at all, let alone improvised matchups against non-league opponents. Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos made contact with the Mocs of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, who were all too eager to drop everything and travel to Nebraska for some last-minute football action.
The Mocs, an FCS program, do not have a football game scheduled until February. Their conference (the SoCon) postponed its season until spring, in the hopes that our nation’s COVID-19 situation will be improved by then. No matter! Their coach, a man named Rusty Wright, told ESPN “if [Nebraska] had told us to be there Wednesday night, we would have gone on Wednesday night.” This man is quite simply ready at the drop of a hat to smush his amateur athletes into another school’s amateur athletes, in the middle of a pandemic, during their offseason. Wow!
This plan suffered a major disappointment Thursday when the Big Ten rejected the proposal, on the grounds that they’d already explicitly ruled out exactly this sort of improvisation. Unfortunately, at this late date, it will simply not be possible for Nebraska to find another actual football team to meet them on the gridiron this Saturday.
Fortunately for everyone, we have done the math and determined that the entire Defector staff, from editorial to operations, includes exactly 22 adult human beings, which is enough for both an offense and a defense (we will share special teams duties although it is unlikely that we will require a kicking unit). Our application to join the Big Ten Conference is already in the mail; we anticipate no obstacles on that front, as the application was looked over by multiple editors and contains no spelling or major grammatical errors whatsoever.