After a long period of uncertainty and speculation, President Mandel finally wrote to the College community on Monday to share the decision that Williams would not participate in football in 2020. Her email also included a few housekeeping notes regarding an in-person academic semester for people who somehow think that’s still worth it without sports.
Mandel has been lauded thus far for her shrewd decision making throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but College officials have stressed that the greatest challenges still lie ahead. “Sure, we’re going to be able to go back to campus, but it’s not like we can go right back to our usual sparsely attended football games outdoors in a rural area with almost no yelling or screaming. As much as that may be disappointing for, like, 20 people” said Douglass Schiazza, who was told by President Mandel to “go talk to the Haystack or something if you’re done with your work so quickly.”
College officials estimate the annual net revenue brought in by the football team at somewhere between zero dollars and some very large negative number of dollars. “We’re not exactly sure about the lower limit on that range but I can tell you for sure that the upper limit I gave you is way too fucking high. Think of it like the Grand Canyon. No one knows exactly how deep it really is. That’s part of the allure,” said an anonymous member of the board of trustees, who was so hesitant to criticize Williams athletics that he asked not to have his name printed even though the news in this publication is fake and he isn’t even a real person.
“I’ve always said it’s not fair that these guys can’t have athletic scholarships,” said athletic director Grunt Toughley. “You have to think about how much they help the school financially by giving us a place to divert funds away from all that nonsense like therapy and food.”
“He’s right,” added Toughley’s assistant. “You can only waste so much of your money on marble blocks. And I mean that literally. We really tried our best. Now we’re just adding windows to Sawyer.”
College officials have echoed that despite the immense financial ramifications, the cancellation of the football season is the only viable option. “Safety comes first, no matter how much money you have to save by being safe,” said Toughley. “We’re entering new territory financially, but we’re just going to have to be adaptable, and flexible, and malleable, and versatile, and a couple more of those words, and just find a way to minimize the positive consequences to whatever extent we can.”
“Look,” said Mandel, during an intimate interview in her gold-plated office, Bengal tiger at her side. “Once you start funding IWS, MinCo, and the like, you start getting what we call in the biz a ‘slippery slope.’ Soon, everyone’s saying ‘me! me! I deserve a therapist. Feed me! Teach me! It’s anarchy,” she said, between puffs of her cartoon-sized cigar.
“The financial consequences of this are more serious than people realize. When we have a surplus, we have to start considering more aggressive investment strategies, like we did in 2005 with Blockbuster Video and asbestos tile.” Mandel removed a one million dollar bill from her pocket and lit it on fire. “One down, two thousand to go” she whispered.
Old-as-shit alumni worry about the “softening,” so to speak, of the campus community with extra resources for student wellbeing.
“Back in my day we didn’t have ‘therapy’ or ‘wellness services’ or ‘a mother’s love.’ We didn’t ‘care’ about our ‘friends.’ When people had the blues, we drove ‘em up to Jiminy Peak, pushed them down the mountain, and watched them roll up into a big ol’ snowball. Man, we’d laugh for ages. It was the bees’ knees! Then we’d go get hammered with our professors at the speakeasy. Then we’d all go to Bennington and smooch every broad we could find. Those were the good old days before the PC police decided broads and Jews could be on campus. Man, those were the days. The Summer of Love, they called it. Remember when Dick Nixon was president? Now he was a man’s man. Anyways, what was the question?” said an alum who showed up in our office unannounced.
The loss of the football season also leaves potential social ramifications for members of the football team, who now struggle to find other topics of conversation. Haystack reporters planted a camera in 71, and were dismayed to find that the former football stars had been reduced to drinking Muscle Milk in silence and staring into space. “Babes,” one of them said, his eyes tired. “Babes,” the others responded despondently in unison. These were the only words said during the week-long period of surveillance.