There will be football, and it will be good

Put a halt to your take that 45 players is not enough for one high school football team.

Stop, for now, your rant that no postseason severely limits the importance of the games being played.

As we were told by one high school coach shortly after it became clear there will be a Fall II season: "This will be good for everyone."

At the end of the day, that is what people will have to remind themselves. No, Fall II will not be perfect. In many areas, the high school football season the MIAA will be rolling out starting February 22 won't resemble what many of us love and are used to seeing.

In those moments, we have to remind ourselves that the alternative is no football in the 2020-21 school year. We know what that looks like. We know what that feels like. Heck, we just had a Thanksgiving with no high school football, where rivalries that went back over 100 years had to put things on hold.

That was, to put it mildly, no fun at all. We all knew, at a certain point in the summer, that high school football in the fall was going to be a long shot. Luckily, Fall II was there as a fallback, and with some modifications, that's what we are getting.

One of the modifications that has a lot of complaints right now is the 45-player game day roster. We understand that many teams dress more than that typically. Of course, there are plenty of teams that don't get that many, but we will set them aside for the moment.

Look, you of course want everyone on the team to dress for game day. But if we are talking about how many teams need more than 45 players on a Friday or Saturday, it's definitely not as many. You get to the 46th player on the roster, a lot of times that player isn't actually getting on the field.

Do we understand that getting to dress and be on the sidelines is an important thing, whether you play or not? Of course, but we are in a time where concessions have to be made, and this happens to be one of them.

Now, let's move to the fact that there will be no postseason in Fall II. It's unfortunate. However, rumors of there not being any playoffs were circulating before we even found out there would not be a fall season.

Does it stink that you feel like you have your best team in years and now won't be able to win that elusive state title? Yes. Any time there isn't one of those rewards at stake, it is a little deflating.

But you will still get to play out a schedule, have a chance to go undefeated, beat your rival, or upset a big favorite. There is still a lot to play for, even if there's not everything to play for.

Finally, let's tackle the subject that even us reporters are starting to kvetch about: the weather. Ever since a Fall II was discussed in the early stages, people were complaining about the prospect about playing football in late February.

OK, we get it. There could be some inclement weather and downright freezing cold days coming up.

Well, what's the alternative? This was the best the powers that be could come up with. Sure, if we had our way, all games would be played when it is 65 degrees and sunny. That's not happening, though, and, hey, this is Massachusetts. We are used to bad weather.

In the end, this is what we've got. Football in February with part of the roster missing and no playoffs. It is imperfect, but you know what? It's football.

There will be practices. There will be games. Statistics will be recorded, and the scores will be kept. There will be touchdowns and upsets and celebrations like we are all used to. At some point, it will even feel a little familiar.

It will be different, but it will be a long time coming, and even despite our complaints, it will be good for everyone.

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