The University of Washington Huskies’ football schedule has become an improvised thing this autumn. When they’ve had a chance to play, they have done well, but, even if it is a winning season, it is a weird one.

Because one of their players tested positive for COVID-19, the University of California Golden Bears had to cancel their season opener with the Huskies. This followed a late start of the season after the Huskies’ games with Michigan and Stanford got dropped. The match with Oregon State almost got shut down, too, because of coronavirus concerns. The fabled Apple Cup with perennial rival Washington State was put off, perhaps permanently, because the Cougars have been sidelined by positive tests. And now there is worry that the rescheduled game with Stanford might be in trouble because the team from Palo Alto has nowhere to practice due to new pandemic restrictions in the Bay Area.

It is not just college ball that is struggling with a deadly, elusive, invisible opponent: From small high school teams to the NFL, all have had their plans disrupted. The Seahawks are enjoying a solid season, so far, but other pro teams are finding themselves short of quarterbacks or lacking a place to play because of COVID-19.

Somehow, enough games will be completed to pick champions at the college and professional level, but those titles will come with very big asterisks. In this strange gridiron season, the winners will be less victors than survivors. 

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