NFL season is above the pandemic despite the loss of fan attendance

What+the+absence+of+fans+really+looks+like+in+the+NFL.+Photo+Credit%3A+Keith+Dunlap

What the absence of fans really looks like in the NFL. Photo Credit: Keith Dunlap

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to play in front of an empty crowd, with no fans cheering you on?  Well here we have it, the NFL startup almost feels similar to the practice scene and there’s nothing fluent about it. The NFL has lost the attendance of some of the craziest and loudest fans in all of sports. Football games aren’t supposed to be silent, and the NFL organizations know that, which is why they’re doing everything they can to make it feel relatively normal. Stadiums have even added fan noise on loud stadium speakers during the game to get a sense of hype. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the entire world, making it difficult to adjust, especially for the NFL.

 

The NFL season started at its usual time of year despite some of the huge setbacks across the globe, players and coaches were given the option to opt out before the start of the season. In contrast to the NBA and NHL, the NFL turned down the idea of a bubble concept that seems to work effectively. Tracy Pinkin, CHC Athletic Trainer, added her thoughts about a bubble implanted for the NFL, “You go into a bubble and exclude the majority of the population which is vital, but you have to keep in mind that you can’t house 32 NFL teams that include 53 man rosters. That’s just too expensive and unrealistic.” The NFL was prepared to receive positive tests throughout the season considering it takes a large number of people to operate an NFL team.

 

According to sportingnews.com, daily COVID 19 tests have been in place since the start of  NFL training camps for people sorted out into two groups, “Tier 1 (“players and essential football personnel whose job function requires direct access to players for more than 10 minutes at a time on a regular basis”) and Tier 2 (“other essential personnel who may need to be in close proximity to players and other Tier 1 individuals and who may need to access restricted areas periodically”).” Similar to our system at Cape Henry Collegiate, players are required to pass the temperature scans before entering the facilities. All coaches and staff are required to wear masks on the sidelines during games.

 

The NFL made few changes to the scheduling of the upcoming 2020 season. The NFL was required to extend training camp as a result of the pandemic, as well as the cancelation of all preseason games. As far as the regular season goes, the NFL is requiring all games to be played in the United States, tweaking the games that were supposed to be played in London and Mexico City. All 5 international games remained scheduled for their original dates.

 

The NFL experience has drastically changed, according to sportingnews.com – 6 of the 32 NFL teams were planning on hosting fans week 1. All stadiums will still in fact include crowd noise though. According to sportingnews.com, “NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent confirmed to reporters on a recent conference call that the league will pipe artificial crowd noise into stadiums. The NFL also is working with the TV networks to implement additional fake crowd noise into game broadcasts.” Tracy Pinkin added, “For the mental aspect, athletes feed off the energy from fans because ultimately it’s a performance. The absence of fans definitely affects players mentally.” Players and coaches definitely deserve crowd noise at the least.

 

Although fan attendance has been limited, we interviewed students around Cape Henry to get their personal views on if they would feel comfortable attending a game during the pandemic. Nathan Hayes, student-athlete in the Class of 2022 added, “I would take that risk because it’s similar to an extent of attending school.” In contrast to his response, student-athlete in the class of 2022, Kade Keenan added, “Although I am young and could handle the virus better than most, I am not risking putting anyone I’m close to at risk, especially my family just in case I were to attract the virus.”

 

The NFL seems to believe the league has everything under control. Players and coaches are committed to participating in a successful season despite certain conditions. Fans and people at home who love football, are grateful for the return of the sport but need to be informed and updated from a third-person standpoint.