Sports

Canceling the Pinstripe Bowl for public safety is an outrage that may be NYC’s ruin

How? How can they take this away from us?
Image: (Getty Images)

They closed the subways at night in New York City, and that was fine, because the subways are, and have been, crime-infested hell holes.

They also made restaurants shut down at 10 p.m., and that was fine, too, because as we all know, coronavirus only spreads at night, which is another reason that closing the subways was a good idea. So long as you can still eat inside a restaurant at 6, no problem.

But canceling the New Era Pinstripe Bowl? This is going too far, destroying a tradition that cannot be replicated anywhere else, something that is uniquely New York and defines the identity of our city.

“Due to the recent increase in coronavirus cases, which has led to the imposition of various travel restrictions and the cancellation of many college football games, including those in the Big Ten and ACC Conferences, we have made the decision out of an abundance of caution and in conjunction with both conferences to cancel the 2020 New Era Pinstripe Bowl,” the organizers said in a statement that had to have been made under duress, because anyone who’s truly New York Tough would not have bent the knee to the coronabros this way. “The priority of the Yankees, New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Big Ten and ACC is the safety of players, coaches and staff, and this decision is consistent with that approach. We look forward to hosting the New Era Pinstripe Bowl with an enthusiastic crowd filling Yankee Stadium in 2021.”

Damn right they better be back with an enthusiastic crowd in 2021, just like last year, when Michigan State beat Wake Forest in a 27-21 game that nobody should even have to look up any details to remember. That game drew 36,895 fans to the House That Doug Marrone Built, a figure higher than a whopping seven Yankees home games in 2019! But this year? Nothing. The worry warts have won this round.

“The safety of the players.” What a laugh. We all know that COVID, which is basically the flu anyway, if it’s even real, isn’t a threat to young and healthy people like college football players. This is such an overreaction to nothing, just like the four games with top 25 teams that are canceled this week. Probably all of those unranked teams were just scared of the big boys.

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl doesn’t have time for that kind of stuff anyway, which is why it’s only had two ranked teams play the game in its 10 glorious years of existence. Notre Dame was No. 25 when it beat Rutgers, 29-16, in 2013, and the only reason that No. 22 Pittsburgh got invited in 2016 was so that it could lose to a team of blue-collar heroes from the heartland, Northwestern.

Purdue has never been to the Pinstripe Bowl, but this was looking like the Boilermakers’ year. How are we supposed to tell them that they won’t get to show rival Indiana how it’s done on the big stage in New York after the Hoosiers’ 44-41 overtime loss to Duke in 2015? And what about Wake Forest? They were on track to return to the Bronx and get the job done this time around. How is New York supposed to continue without the normalcy provided by Demon Deacons football?

Canceling bowl games is the kind of thing that they do in dictatorships like Michigan, where the Quick Lane Bowl wussed out last month.

It’s time for New York’s lawmakers to step up their game and focus on what really matters. Our Senators would be a good start, but what we really need to see is some passion like the heroes of the Michigan legislature showed, because those are the kind of people who get results.

Enough is enough. It’s bad enough that you can’t walk into a bagel store without a mask and cough on someone without being called the K-word. Now there’s no Pinstripe Bowl? New York really is dead.

(Ed. note: This entire article appears in Deadspin’s super-secret sarcasm font. Don’t see it? Then the joke’s on you.)

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