Stop Everything for the Eclipse?

South Carolina’s football coach, Will Muschamp, was asked recently if the Gamecocks had planned their preseason camp around Monday’s solar eclipse.

It seemed to be a logical question: The Gamecocks’ hometown, Columbia, was squarely in the path of totality, one of the last stops on the continentwide diagonal trajectory that would leave entire cities and towns shrouded from sunlight for anywhere from several seconds to two and a half minutes.

But Muschamp replied with a look that made it crystal clear his preseason practice plan did not account for eclipses.

“Are you kidding?” he said, going on to ask, “What day is the eclipse going to happen?” (He appeared not to be kidding.)

“I’m not very good with that kind of stuff,” he added.

Let the record show that the team itself planned to watch, according to an athletics department spokesman, and that the speakers at Williams-Brice Stadium blasted “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” famously used in the film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” at the moment of totality.

But Muschamp’s response inadvertently pointed to a larger truth the eclipse has revealed: There may be no other job in the United States in which sheer monomania — the kind where a rather cool and potentially once-in-a-lifetime event like the continental solar eclipse does not even qualify as an afterthought — is tolerated the way it is in a football coach. For Muschamp and others, these crucial weeks of August camp are the time to get the team ready for the dozen or so games it will play this season.

To a coach like Muschamp, stopping those preparations for even a minute or two to consider an eclipse probably won’t help you beat Clemson.

“I watch the Weather Channel every day,” Alabama Coach Nick Saban said. “They’re already saying what it’s going to look like in every city in America. So what’s going to be significant?”

At least Saban seemed aware that the eclipse was a thing that existed. (The moon, in fact, was to cover as much as 90 percent of the sun in Tuscaloosa, Ala.) And other coaches and athletes eagerly soaked up the rare experience.