In the most precarious season of college football history, in which games have been canceled and spectators have been outright banned at some programs, it’s hard to think of a sight worse, as far as the COVID-19 pandemic goes, than what followed Notre Dame’s upset win over No. 1 Clemson.
As soon as Clemson’s last attempt to score in double overtime fell short, Notre Dame fans rushed the field as if their team wasn’t playing in a pandemic that reached a new peak this week in the United States.
This is the postgame sight that greeted college football fans as well as a nation waiting for a delayed post-election “Saturday Night Live”:
Notre Dame beat Clemson and they stormed the field pic.twitter.com/zZFchrWu1m
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) November 8, 2020
Social distancing, that is not.
Obviously, Notre Dame fans had reason to be excited. Their team just beat the top team in the country (which was admittedly missing its Heisman-caliber quarterback) and secured a path to College Football Playoff contention. Fans wait years for these kind of nights.
However, the coronavirus doesn’t care that they had reason to be excited. It remains dangerous, a virus that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and continues to spread at record rates. Per Notre Dame’s own numbers, there were 17 coronavirus cases reported on campus Friday with a daily average of 27.3 over the last seven days. Like so many other college campuses, COVID-19 has a presence at Notre Dame and beating Clemson doesn’t change that.
Hopefully, Saturday’s game won’t be seen as a super-spreader event, but the field-stormers at Notre Dame — as well as the school administrators that allowed them into the stadium with no evident plan to stop them from crowding — certainly seem to have done the best they can to create one.
College football fans react to Notre Dame’s field storm
Many people ranged from puzzled to concerned to stern as they watched the celebration play out, including LeBron James and former Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet. And, of course, jokes were made.
So it’s ok for fans to storm the field but not ok at the same time to have fans??? I’m confused 🤷🏾♂️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 8, 2020
They gon need the luck of the Irish for real
— Wale (@Wale) November 8, 2020
Now everyone on the field get your COVID tests!!!
— Cole Kmet (@ColeKmet) November 8, 2020
I should be spending the next few days being OBNOXIOUS and instead I’m gonna have to be chastising our student section
— Mike Golic Jr (@mikegolicjr) November 8, 2020
Um... field storming during a pandemic might not be the ~best~ move, Notre Dame.
— Amie Just (@Amie_Just) November 8, 2020
What the hell are Notre Dame fans thinking
— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) November 8, 2020
This SNL cold open of the kids storming the field during the pandemic is crazy!
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) November 8, 2020
the best college football player missed the biggest game of the season because he got COVID and when his team lost, all the fans of the other team swarmed their own team's players while not wearing masks
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) November 8, 2020
catholics vs. contagion
— Holly Anderson (@HollyAnderson) November 8, 2020
We go now to Notre Dame's Head of Stadium Security, Rob Manfred
— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) November 8, 2020
Is Justin Turner Notre Dame’s crowd consultant?
— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) November 8, 2020
Now that is a Super-upsetter event.
— Judd Zulgad (@jzulgad) November 8, 2020
Not everyone was unhappy with Notre Dame students storming the field, however. Former Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool, now in his rookie year with the Pittsburgh Steelers, said the celebration would be worth it even if the entire team tested positive.
We’re going to go ahead and assume the school disagrees.
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