With the government shutdown in the midst of its second day, the fate of a pair of college football games remains in limbo.
Yesterday, the Department of Defense “suspended all intercollegiate competitions at the nation’s service academies,” meaning the Air Force-Navy game in Annapolis and Army-Boston College game in Chestnut Hill have, for all intents and purposes, been canceled. While all sides — well, except for the politicians who created the mess in the first place — are attempting to come up with a resolution that would allow the games to go off as planned, pessimism is quickly gaining on optimism.
In a statement released by BC athletic director Brad Bates late Wednesday morning, it’s readily apparent that the financial ramifications brought on by the shutdown are not the be-all, end-all of the situation.
“We have been considering and engaging all possibilities in order to play Saturday’s football game, including offering financial assistance to Army for travel,” Bates’ statement read. “We have been told by officials at the US Military Academy, however, that this is not solely a financial decision.”
What Bates is referring to is what his counterpart at Navy alluded to Tuesday: perception.
“It’s a perception thing. Apparently it doesn’t resonate with all the other government agencies that have been shut down,” Navy AD Chet Gladchuk said according to the Capital Gazette.
Of course, a pair of meaningless football games pale in comparison to hundreds of thousands of federal workers losing their paychecks for X amount of days/weeks. Then again, Navy’s athletic department stands to lose in excess of $4 million if this weekend’s game is cancelled, so the shutdown would hit the academy’s non-revenue sports as well — especially if the shutdown pushes deeper into the month and costs the school(s) additional home-game revenue.
Regardless, a final decision on whether or not either of the two games involving the three service academies will be played is expected to come no later than noon ET on Thursday.