On Iowa Podcast: The Big Ten's decision to cancel fall football and ensuing pushback

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., on Thursday, March 12, 2020. (Chris
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., on Thursday, March 12, 2020. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

I’m going to compare the Big Ten to the Bill Paxton character “Pvt. Hudson” in the movie “Aliens.”

When the conference released its 10-game schedule six days before deciding to cancel fall football, that was Pvt. Hudson and the bravado he showed at the beginning of the movie, when his military unit descended into the spaceship where all the aliens were.

Then, Pvt. Hudson actually saw the aliens.

“Game over, man. Game over.” “Seventeen days? We’re not going to last 17 minutes.”

Pvt. Hudson freaked the bleep out.

The Big Ten’s bravado evaporated over … what was it again … I guess uncertainty. The explanation from commissioner Kevin Warren was “uncertainty.” He’s not wrong, but in the wake of announcing the schedule and giving players something to work toward — whether or not it was ever going to happen — this is Pvt. Hudson seeing the aliens.

At this moment, we’re all left wondering “maybe it was an ant hive.” (Another line for Paxton’s character. Here’s another, “What do you mean they cut the power? They’re animals.”)

Of course, Pvt. Hudson went out in a blaze of glory.

Could the Big Ten have waited? Yes. Should the Big Ten have waited? Probably, but I do believe this always was the conclusion it was going to reach. Was the meeting last weekend a room full of Pvt. Hudsons? And where was the Sigourney Weaver character? You know, the strong, silent type who ends up sending the Queen Alien to a fireball and saves the day?

The first reporter to get to an oral history type of thing on this is going to get a lot of clicks.

We talked extensively about the Big Ten’s decision and everything that gravity pulls along with it on this episode of the On Iowa Podcast. We also took a bunch of Twitter questions.

Scott ended up burning what was left of his fence. My daughter’s apartment is in ruin. We lost a giant tree, got a broken window and had a shed from up the street hit our house. Overall, I feel pretty lucky. There was a minute on Monday when, after the window was broken, I swear I could feel our house swell, like it was about to go.

I was Pvt. Hudson, actually yelling at the wind, which, holy bleep, 40 freaking minutes. Newspaper people can be nomads. You make the career moves you think are right. My family has lived here for 23 years, longer than anywhere else.

It’s time to redo our city again. Pitter patter.

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Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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