College football has been battered by covid, and we’ve all accepted it

“We knew going in, and I think all of us — whether it’s the Big Ten and all the other Power Five conferences — understood what we were getting into when we made the decision to play,” Locksley said by Zoom on Thursday, the day Maryland announced the cancellation of Saturday’s scheduled date with Michigan State. “I don’t think there’s been any surprises with any of us.”

That’s the striking thing about all of this: the norms we now accept. The virus is here. It has killed more than 250,000 Americans. There is not yet an approved vaccine. Football is trying to rage forward. The virus is beating it back — from the SEC to the Pac-12 to the Big Ten and back again. Feel like flipping on the alma mater Saturday? Check the schedule first — and make sure it’s updated.

“As I’ve talked to our team, I’ve assured them that this is not a Maryland thing,” Locksley said. “This is a national landscape thing.”

So what sort of season remains here? Not just for 2-1 Maryland, which has three more scheduled regular season games. Not just for the Big Ten, among the conferences using Elmer’s to hold together its schedule. But in totality.

Over the past three weeks, the virus has wiped out 40 games. That number isn’t carved in granite, either. Wait an hour, then check back for updates. There are bound to be some, particularly because cases are skyrocketing — a million new cases nationwide in a week, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.

“I want to remind everyone that this is not a football-spread virus or a sport-spread virus,” said Yvette Rooks, the assistant director of Maryland’s university health center who is monitoring the athletic department’s testing results. “It is a community-spread virus.”

That is an important thing for all of us to understand. Football isn’t alone in spreading the virus. But football is being played in communities where the virus is spreading. Therefore, an impact on the sport is all but inevitable. It’s another bridge we seem to have crossed: being comfortable staging games as the pandemic worsens rather than improves.

What we’re left with, then, isn’t so much the normal mayhem of a college football season that builds to conference championships. Remember when the biggest controversies surrounded who was ultimately selected for the College Football Playoff? Those were civil, simple times. It would be refreshing to argue whether a two-loss SEC team deserves a spot over a one-loss Big 12 candidate.

Rather, this is just mayhem, period. The games, by this point, are glorified exhibitions. They exist not so much so the young men who play in them and the older men who coach them can learn about teamwork and camaraderie and overcoming adversity. No, they exist because ESPN and Fox and CBS and all their tentacles need programming, period. Not just this fall but headed into a long, cold, gray winter. You only have to hear how television executives refer

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Seven Lessons We’ve Learned From This Historic Hurricane Season

We’re chugging through one of the most active Atlantic hurricane seasons on record. We’ve seen 27 named storms so far this year—just one storm shy of the all-time record set back in 2005—and an unprecedented 11 of those named storms made landfall in the United States.

Hurricane forecasting and preparations have come a long way over the last few decades, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Going through such a prolific hurricane season gives us a unique opportunity to learn what we can do better to prepare for and recover from future storms.

1: Hurricanes Don’t Watch The Calendar

We’re still more than a month away from the end of hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, and we’re well past the peak of the season, which typically occurs during the second week of September.

The concepts of “hurricane season” and “peak season” are based on climatology, which gives us a good idea of when conditions are most favorable for tropical development across different parts of the Atlantic Ocean.

Even though those seem like hard boundaries, tropical cyclones can form before June 1 and after November 30. We have to keep our guards up and monitor the forecasts until the dry air of winter finally shuts down activity over the ocean.

Additional storms in the Caribbean and western Atlantic are certainly possible over the next couple of weeks. It’s worth pointing out that the last storm to form during that historic 2005 season formed on December 30.

2: The Number Of Storms Doesn’t Account For Their Impacts

While this is (so far) the second-most active Atlantic hurricane season on record, many of the storms that contributed to this year’s count were relatively weak and short-lived. However, even though we’ve seen a multitude of unremarkable tropical storms, this year would’ve been memorable in its own right even without the astronomical storm count. 

Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Sally, Delta, and Zeta all made landfall in the United States as hurricanes, and several of those storms left a tremendous amount of damage in their wake. And almost every one of those hurricanes intensified right up to the point of landfall, which made matters worse for communities affected by the storms.

3: A Close Call Doesn’t Mean The Next Storm Will Miss

Hurricanes Laura and Delta both tracked west of New Orleans. Hurricane Marco dissipated before reaching New Orleans. Hurricane Sally went east of New Orleans. So when the forecasts showed Hurricane Zeta making a direct hit on New Orleans this week, I heard plenty of “ah, it’ll turn” from folks who live in and near the city. Zeta’s eye went directly over downtown New Orleans, exposing a major city and its suburbs to 100 MPH winds.

While overall steering patterns generally favor one track over another, areas that experience close calls aren’t immune from getting hit by subsequent storms. Never let one storm instill a false sense of

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