SAN DIEGO—On Tuesday, December 28, the College Football Bowl known as the Holiday Bowl that was to be held in San Diego was cancelled. The UCLA Bruins were scheduled to face the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Las Vegas determine that the Wolfpack were slim two-point favorites to win the contest and despite the light rain. COVID-19 led to the cancellation just 4 ½ hours before kickoff. Rainy weather matched the mood of the fans, coaches, and football administrators who were distressed at the outcome for players and coaches who worked so hard to reach this moment.
UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond issued this following statement:
“We are extremely grateful to the Holiday Bowl, students, fans, sponsors and the people of San Diego for their support this week. We are deeply disappointed for our young men in the football program that worked extremely hard for this opportunity. My heart goes out to them. The health and safety of our students will always be our north star.”
North Carolina Head Coach Dave Doeren seemed skeptical and issued the following statement:
“We felt lied to, to be honest. We felt like UCLA probably knew something was going on with their team but didn’t tell anybody on our side. We had no clue that they were up against that. I don’t feel like it was very well handled from their university. It would have been great to have a heads up that this could happen. Maybe two or three days ago we could have found a plan B. It’s disappointing.”
So the great matchup turns into a no contest. The real losers here are the fans, players and everyone who was waiting to see this game. Anyone familiar with the San Diego area knows from the 5 freeway you take 10th Avenue to Petco Park. There is more important things in life than football, but try telling that to a young man who has traveled more than 2,000 miles to play and realizes that he will never play another.
The sun was shining on all who attended the parade. Gigantic balloons of Elmo and Mr. Potato Head delighted the crowd. Roughly an hour after the parade ended the announcement was made. Bottom line is that there was no Holiday Bowl last year, and there will not be one this year as well. Sorry NC State, you deserved better than this.