The the coronavirus pandemic sweeping over the world, all of us are going to have to accept some changes in our lives. Over the course of two weeks, we have already made many of those changes in an effort to stop the spread and destruction of COVID-19. Sports, for example, were flat out cancelled. As we suffer through the loss of March Madness and now the effects of a postponed MLB season — we look towards the fall, and shudder at the possibility of a lost football season.
Should it go on, there still may be many changes in place that we are no where near discussing. However, the season-opening game in Dublin Ireland between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Navy Midshipmen may be something that gets altered very soon.
Even if the threat of COVID-19 abates this summer, international travel for players, staff, and fans may be deemed too risky to move forward. That would mean the two schools would need to find a new place to play the game that’s available on such a short scheduling notice. That’s a tough spot to be in, if Notre Dame and Navy want to try and keep with the tradition of Navy home games being on a neutral field.
So break tradition — duh.
The 2020 game between the Irish and Middies should be played on Navy’s home field:
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
You can forget my personal opinions about the series as a whole for a minute (yeah I’m the guy that wants it cancelled as an annual game) but you can certainly break out my opinions about neutral site games for this occasion — I hate them with the power of a trillion suns.
For a long time I have openly declared my hopes that at some point Notre Dame would travel to West Point to play the Army Black Knights inside Michie Stadium, as well as play Navy inside Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, and this may be the only time this can actually happen.
Keep in mind, this is a home game for Navy, but they are certainly encouraged by the Irish when it comes to neutral site locations for the game. Navy likes this relationship and feels like it greatly benefits their football program, and that’s hard to argue with because it’s probably true. However, given the rarity of the Irish on their actual home field, it could give Navy a bigger bump in the grand scheme of it all.
Look, I really want this coronavirus stuff to disappear and for the country, the world, and the football season to get back to normal. The unfortunate truth is that we really are working without a timeframe because this is something no one has ever seen before. All I’m saying is that IF the game has to move, there is only one logical choice for the destination — and I’d actually be excited for that move.