In normal circumstances the editor is the hard sparring partner of the writer. The perfect piece is filed, the cage fight over what stays and goes commences, and something bearing a passing resemblance to the writer’s original vision published. It is a tale as old as time.

But sometimes things are different, and an editor drops on to the writer’s lap a gem, a polished and shiny thing that the writer, being a writer, does not hesitate to take credit for. Well here we will find just such an occasion.

Saturday Tradition maximum editor Dustin Schutte has pinned down the twin cruelties of the Covid-19 pandemic and the new Kevin Warren regime in the Big Ten, as a fumbled handling of the league’s reaction to the virus has cost the league some of its most treasured traditions.

As the cancelled, re-scheduled, and now brutally truncated 2020 season has played out, the Big Ten was forced to lay the tattered remains of three of its oldest rivalries at the feet of the pandemic. 

  1. Minnesota vs Wisconsin, the battle for Paul Bunyan’s axe, played 129 times prior to 2020: CANCELED!
  2. Purdue vs Indiana, played for the honor of the Old Oaken Bucket, contested 122 times prior to 2020: CANCELED!
  3. Michigan vs Ohio State, a rivalry so iconic and intense its known simply as The Game, played 116 times prior to 2020: CANCELED!

There hasn’t been much of a silver lining to 2020, but maybe one of them is a renewed gratitude for the old things we took for granted. The three games listed above, and many more across the country, will be brought back to life in 2021 with the definite knowledge that they can be taken away and lost at any time. Enjoy them while they’re there.