Until today, it was hard to fathom the Big 10 Conference as one of the key swing states in the presidential election, but since we're doing our tourists' guide of hell, here we are.
It seems that President Trump has decided to go all in on Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and maybe even Michigan by trying to insert himself into the matter of the conference postponing football until some future season. We know this is the plan because he hasn't bothered to do the same in California, Oregon, Washington, Utah or Colorado, where the Pacific 12 Conference also decided not to play major college football this fall. None of those are swing states, and Arizona isn't a state he feels can be lost.
Thus, once again nobody is sticking to sports even though everyone blathers on stupidly about how sports can bring us together through the art of distraction. Those days are done, and in an election that hinges on the economy, the virus, corruption, acts of police brutality and more general social injustices, it may very well turn out that it will be decided by college football.
If you are among the few who thought you could never be depressed by the state of our politics, you've now been proven wrong.
This all started because some kids and parents at Nebraska decided the conference was stealing their kids' tickets to the NFL and sued the conference for being prudent about a disease that has killed 180,000 people and has run rampant across the nation's campuses because kids like to act bulletproof. That seems to have sparked the notion that this is a broadbased movement of midwestern football fans who can't stand the idea that their Saturdays will now be filled with chores.
This is not the first time the president has used football as a principal wedge issue — remember Colin Kaepernick? This, though, this is an all-in move because part of Trump's bribe to the conference is fast-tracked testing supplies to the 14 athletic departments so that the games will be declared safer by people who don't understand how viruses work.
And if it works, then the constitution will have to be amended to include football as an inalienable right, which if nothing else would piss off basketball fans no end. Then we would no longer have red and blue states but oblate and round states, and political pundits would descend even deeper into a state of uncontrollable gibberish -- and if you've been paying attention to most of them, you'll know that they are already well into a collective fugue state of incomprehensible noises and drool.
All because Trump and his advisors believe as he once said to NFL owners, "This is an issue I can win on." If the Big 10 states aren't red, they are close enough that such a gambit could make them more maroon. At least that's the new masterplan. After all, Tommy Tuberville, the former head coach at Mississippi, Auburn, Texas Tech and Cincinnati, leads in polling to gain the Alabama senate seat once held by staunch Republican Jeff Sessions, a lesson not lost on the president.
So now you can cast your vote for or against football as well as all the other for-or-againsts already on your plates, and on whatever side you choose to stand, it will come with a marching band.
See? We told you it would be depressing.