College football returns amidst the pandemic


by Matthew Marquez, Staff Reporter

The Big Ten football season made its return the weekend of Oct. 23-24 despite its scheduling uncertainty during the pandemic.

College Football is happening all over the Midwest, anywhere from NCAA Division I and II to NAIA. Division III, however, as most of our student-athletes know, mainly establishes academics first with sports following. 

For the Simpson football team, the decision to join these conferences in sport fell short as the American Rivers Conference decided to postpone all fall sports in the rise of the pandemic. 

On a more hopeful note, it was announced that Simpson football will begin their season sometime in January when students are scheduled to return from break. 

“At first I thought there was no way we would have a season considering the cancelation of all the Fall sports,” said Hunter Muhlbauer, a junior strong safety for Simpson football. “For me, I love to play the game no matter what is going on around me, so I was looking forward to even the slightest time we were allowed on the field together. I would say football is so popular in our country it would be kind of hard to just not have football on.”

Football is rooted in this country, so time without it is time spent thinking about it. Muhlbauer being a Division III athlete, understands that academics are held to a higher standard compared to Division I, II and NAIA. 

“I do think that fan attendance is very important,” said Brittany DeMoney, a junior at Simpson. “The fans are in charge of the atmosphere of the arena or stadium, so I think that the teams are probably feeling like they are missing an aspect of their game-day if an audience isn’t available.”

College football is not only meant for players it is also meant for fans. The importance that is fan culture, serves a bigger purpose than just support; fans contribute to the program’s revenue earned with buying tickets, merchandise and food all while inside stadiums. The Simpson community shows its support for football by buying tickets and buying food while inside, that has not been the case this year. 

“I think that the ARC was making a smart decision and allowing the school to adapt to life with COVID-19  before having a football season and not spreading the virus to the players and fans,” said Natheniel Rapp, a sophomore Linebacker. 

For any athlete to find out that their sports season has been temporarily canceled is never easy to process, all the hard work and dedication, the countless hours at the field preparing all to find out that it is not happening. 

It is important that athletes like Rapp understand that the ARC is acting in response to a global pandemic and that the conference is acting in the best way for their athletes.