The government shutdown that went into effect today is putting the Army vs. Boston College football game in jeopardy. The shutdown has put nearly 800,000 people out of work, including the employees at the nation’s service academies.
The Department of Defense has halted all travel related NCAA athletic engagements involving these service academies. Army at Boston College and Air Force at Navy are two college football games in danger of not being played this weekend.
“Obviously our intention is to exhaust all possibilities to play the game and we will communicate the information promptly as soon as we have resolution” said Boston College Athletic Director Brad Bates in an ESPN.com article.
The government shutdown is disappointing on so many levels. Canceling two footballs games are small reminders that the men and women in Congress are letting their constituents down in nearly every conceivable way. As if it’s not bad enough that they are taking wages away from thousands of Federal employees, college students who practice seven days a week for a chance to play the game they love will be denied that opportunity because our congressmen can’t seem to agree on anything.
Army vs. BC isn’t a prime-time game. The nation’s attention isn’t on either team, and some might argue it’s a meaningless game between two average teams. It certainly isn’t Alabama vs. Ohio State. The stadium won’t be filled with crazed students and fans from all over the country, and the media won’t push this story because Army vs. BC isn’t a “big-money game.”
That shouldn’t matter. In fact, it doesn’t matter. If this game was between two Division III teams it would still be equally unfair to the players, coaches and personnel who dedicate hours on end to play sixty minutes of football every Saturday.
The United States of America is the land of opportunity. The government choosing to shut down rather than agree on a federal budget is denying opportunities to countless Americans including those who simply want to enjoy a Saturday afternoon cheering on their favorite football team.