NFL Tells Fans To Hang In There
"The NFL in 2020 will not look like other years." That's the word from the NFL to fans this week, and we'll find out soon what exactly that means.
I'm not sure how I got on the NFL's mailing list (probably ordering lots of merch from the NFL shop), but I got the letter this week from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that outlined changes for the upcoming season. The letter might be in your spam filter, but if not, here's a quick recap.
The NFL Commissioner's Note to Fans:
The NFL in 2020 will not look like other years. Players and coaches will be tested for the virus regularly, including every day for a while. Preseason games have been canceled. Everyone in the team environment must follow rigorous health and safety protocols to keep themselves and each other safe. When there is a positive test, strict regulations will be enforced to isolate and care for that individual and to contain the virus before it spreads. Even the sideline will look different. And, state and local health guidelines will help determine whether fans will attend the games. These adjustments are necessary to reduce the risk for everyone involved.
Commissioner Goodell went on to say that planning for the season has been a combined effort with "medical experts and public health officials, including the CDC, the White House Task Force, governors, and state health officials." And he said the changes will be noticeable for the foreseeable future because nobody knows when all of this will end.
As for whether or not fans are allowed in stadiums, that will depend on what's happening in the cities where the NFL teams are based. If Denver's situation clears up, that will help in-person attendance. If Seattle's issues get worse, well, more fans might be watching from home. "It depends" has been a running theme for so many things this year, and it looks like that vibe will stick to the upcoming NFL season too.
Do you think all of this will be a distraction to the players? They get paid big bucks to concentrate, so something tells me they'll power through. But it might be with cardboard cutouts watching from the stands and a little artificial crowd noise on TV. Everything is changing but the chicken wings. And beer. Go team.