Here’s just a random assortment of thoughts for the Fourth of July week.

The cancellation of the NFL’s Hall of Fame Preseason Game in early August due to fears of the coronavirus pandemic feels rather ominous for the prospects of football in the fall.

While an optimist will point out preseason games are practically worthless regardless of the presence of a pandemic, I would counter the NFL doesn’t do anything unless it deems it important. Whatever the case, if the National Football League — the most popular sports league in the country by a wide margin — is beginning to scratch games off of their docket, how far behind can college football be?

That being said, because there is a chance of no college football season, I do recommend everyone begin to bone up on their abilities to make small talk.

Forever, we have taken for granted how simple it is to ease into a conversation with a “What about that draw play Gus Malzahn called on third and 12?” or “I thought Saban was going to march past the locker room at halftime and walk straight into anger management after that last missed field goal” comment. Football is a gateway to meet-and-greets and without that sport acting as a segue, expect to hear a lot of, “Soooooo … How about this weather, huh?”

The actual games aren’t the only things suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The University of Washington just announced it has cut its athletic budget by 15% and all the school’s coaches agreed to a minimum 5% pay reduction due to financial strains brought on by the pandemic. There’s no way to know when these measures will wind their way to the Southeastern Conference, but I feel sure they will.

Speaking of the SEC, Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is the most polarizing player in the league. He has all of the tools and the high school rep, but his first three years in College Station, Texas, haven’t exactly lit the conference on fire.

I am still a believer, though. There is no doubt I am on an island here, but I foresee Mond having a first team All- SEC season in 2020.

On a final note, The Outlook is blessed with many fantastic contributors and employees. It’s not easy being in the paper business in today’s digital world, but this paper does an amazing job of staying relevant and current.

Unfortunately, one of this publication’s best writers, Lizi Arbogast, is leaving.

Fortunately, she’s not leaving the community, though. Lizi has been an incredible asset every year she has been with the paper. She also acted as a supportive confidant and friend when called upon.

She will be missed.

Luke Robinson is a regular columnist, contributor to BMetro, AHSAA Radio Network Broadcaster and Sportzblitz Team Member.