There Are Plenty Of Changes Due To COVID-19 And Moves By The Raiders And Tom Brady
Published Sept. 7, 2020
Are you ready for some football?
Something other than Central Arkansas, South Alabama vs. Southern Miss and Army 42, Middle Tennessee zip?
The 2020 NFL season starts this Thursday and in case you are losing track of days and dates these days, Labor Day Weekend just happened and Houston hosts defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City on Sept. 10.
Kickoff is 8:20 p.m., on NBC.
The full slate of games is set for Sunday which – if it goes off in a time when nothing is guaranteed until it actually happens – then it will feel like a normal September Sunday.
It is certainly more normal than college football, which has two major conferences not even playing and the SEC putting off the start of its games until the last weekend of the month. Still, there are some ranked teams playing on Saturday when the ACC and Big 12 take the field.
The games already played, at the small collegiate level and even in high schools, shows that football can be safely played in this COVID-19 era, and using that as a guide fans will be seeing referees wearing masks and using hand-controlled whistles instead of ones they blow through their mouth.
Coaches will be pulling down and pulling up their masks throughout the games.
From a fans’ perspective, that’s going to be very different for those used to going to sports bars to watch games with fellow fans.
First of all, your regular game-watching bar may not even be open now. Secondly, if it is, you may have to watch is outside on big screens placed on the sidewalk (if this continues into late October and into November and December, this won’t exactly be a pleasant experience in cold weather climates). And with limited seating capacities, you may not even be able to get into the bar in the first place.
Want to go to a game? That will be even tougher with stadiums only being at a quarter of capacity. Tailgating, if the team even allows it, will hardly be the same social party as it’s been in the past.
And even if you get into the stadium, then you won’t be able to do certain things that were part of team cheers, such as the tomahawk chop at Chiefs games.
If you’re a Washington fan heck, your team doesn’t even have a nickname. And the Raiders, well, they are now the Las Vegas Raiders. And Tom Brady is wearing red and red and pewter – pewter! – instead of the familiar blue jersey and silver helmet.
Yes football is back. It’s the 2020 COVID-era style. No doubt teams and fans will adjust to all the changes.