Bayou Classic fans anxiously await November's rescheduled game
BATON ROUGE - This time last year, football fans across Louisiana were preparing to represent their favorite teams in the Bayou Classic face-off between the Southern University Jaguars and Grambling State University's Tigers.
But the traditional game, normally played in the final Saturday of November, has been postponed by the pandemic.
In yet another upset to normal life for south Louisiana, the health crisis that's delayed and canceled a series of traditional sports events is forcing fans to exercise patience as they wait for Saturday, April 17, 2021 to arrive, the rescheduled game day for the 47th Annual Bayou Classic.
The game will take place at Shreveport's Independence Stadium instead of the New Orleans Superdome, which is its typical location.
In July of 2020, the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) released the following statement regarding the change of venue for the 47th Annual Bayou Classic: "With the planned move of SWAC football to the Spring, we remain optimistic that the iconic Bayou Classic, ranked as the #1 HBCU Classic in the nation, will be played between Southern University and Grambling State University at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans at some time in the future.
Until then we ask for all Bayou Classic fans to stay safe, wear your mask in public and follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We will get past this national pandemic and will celebrate all of our HBCUs traditions – including the Bayou Classic – in an even bigger way."
While the statement's tone comes across as optimistic, its message regarding the undecided future of certain aspects tied of a beloved annual tradition is unmistakable. And it's a message that leads many to wonder what the future of football will look like.
Even as a date for the next Bayou Classic has been locked down and several vaccines appear to be on the verge of receiving FDA approval for emergency release, coronavirus cases have increased across the nation and multiple college football players and their associates have reported contracting the virus.
So, college football is limping along throughout a series of game cancellations and postponements and observing officials are left to seriously consider the life-altering public health issues associated with the pandemic as they decide what college sports will look like in 2021.
Meanwhile, many tried and true fans remain optimistic, hoping to find themselves in good health as they tailgate with family and friends during many Bayou Classic games in the years to come.
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