There’s a t-shirt floating around the retail world these days. It’s red, kind of a vintage cotton look, with “I MISS SPORTS” in block letters.

While the U.S.’s professional landscape muddles through its bubbles and empty baseball stadiums, the Big Ten and the rest of the college football world watches and waits. A couple of days ago, Ryan Day and Jim Harbaugh reminded us why.

Not because we’re in this for the trash talk. But because there’s nothing better than a longstanding college football rivalry with some added spice.

And gosh, do we need the distraction right now, if nothing else.

Harbaugh and Day exchanging barbs on a B1G coaches conference call, then Day proceeding to tell his Ohio State team “Michigan better hope for a mercy rule this year because we are going to hang 100 on them” is some good, old-fashioned, WWE, press-conference-before-the-title-fight stuff. It also comes off as a bit petty when the head coach of the University of Michigan reportedly interrupts a rival — one that’s beat his school 8 straight times — to accuse him of violating practice rules ahead of training camps, which began Friday.

But can’t we empathize with Harbaugh, at least a little? While we’ve been stuck at home helping kids through distance learning and slogging through Zoom calls, he’s been trying to put together a plan for a season remotely with new regulations swirling and a schedule that just came out Thursday.

For creatures of regimen, routine and the ultra-competitive, putting them in the same room right now — even a virtual one — is akin to pulling the pin on a rodeo chute.

“We’re ready to play, right now, anybody, anywhere,” Harbaugh told the In the Trenches podcast. “We just want to play. We just want to play football games. And as I said, there’s been so many guys that have trained so hard, not just now, but their entire life, for this opportunity.”

And Ohio State and Michigan fans have been waiting for months for something that feels like competition.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall when Day and Harbaugh bump into each other at the annual American Football Coaches Association convention.

For now, do we dare let ourselves bask in the glory of such a preamble to a football season many are worried won’t happen, or at least come to a conclusion?

The bigger takeaway is a small window into the commitment of bluebloods like the Wolverines and Buckeyes to playing this season. The multi-million dollar threat to athletic department budgets might be the driver, but the men leading their athletes into the uncertainty of playing during COVID-19 also contain the same hunger for football a lot of us are experiencing at a personal level.

And when you see Ohio State players going out of their way to praise their school for the way it’s handled the situation in a week when over 1,000 B1G athletes issued a call for enhanced protocols and other measures, that same overwhelming appetite is evident.

And when you see Ohio State players going out of their way to praise their school for the way it’s handled the situation in a week when over 1,000 B1G athletes issued a call for enhanced protocols and other measures, that same overwhelming appetite is evident.

It’s part of the story, too.

Maybe these two meet in The Game outside of the regular season’s final week for the first time since 1942. Maybe they don’t.

But if they’re able to play Oct. 24 in Columbus, it’ll mark another historical moment in this 116-year feud. From Harbaugh’s accusations to Buckeyes players saying one of their two goals this season is “beating the brakes off Michigan” to playing in a stadium filled to just 20 percent capacity, this could be one of those moments that ties our sport to a period in history that’ll surely have its own chapter in textbooks some day.

It’ll be a shame if it doesn’t come to pass.