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Mailbag: Empty Beaver Stadium leaves sad, surreal feeling

The word surreal is one of those terms vastly overused by so many.

Yet I can’t think of a better descriptor as I drove past Beaver Stadium drenched in sunshine with a whiff of early autumn in the air.

I should have been among the 100,000-plus in the stands. I deserved it. Don’t I? After all, year after year, I spend several thousand of dollars on tickets to watch the blue and white.

For four decades, the trips to football games were a chance to get out of the city and to reunite with old friends. Good times — regardless of a win or loss.

But now as a State College resident, my thoughts were not so much on the Top 10 preseason Associated Press ranking.

Or the latest scuttlebutt from those whose passion is the ranking of a recruiting class.

Or the eight-figure deficit incurred by the athletic department due to the coronavirus.

With the near doubling of COVID-19 positive cases in Centre County in the past week or so, my thoughts were on safety.

Is it safe to go out to eat? How about to a grocery store? Can I patronize any of the small businesses downtown now that students are back on campus?

What about the health and safety of the players? Coaches? Staff?

Xs and Os seem so trivial. Right?

It’s all so convoluted. The reasons to play now focus more on making money for the athletic/industrial complex or for politicians who fear that an October and November without football will put the electorate in a foul mood, perhaps more willing to vote for change.

The joy just seemed to be absent.

I will end it on a positive note: At least I didn’t get stuck in traffic.

Greg Guise

State College

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