NFL to start season amid the pandemic

With 2020 being the year full of unknowns, the NFL has decided to start the season amid the pandemic cancelling practices and pre-season.

There has been a lot of controversy with sports returning, especially with football because of it being a contact sport. The MLB (Major League Baseball), NHL (National Hockey League), and WNBA/NBA (National Basketball Association) resumed play around the beginning of summer. So far, there has only been a handful of cases among players.

The NFL is looking into every possible way to play the game safer by implementing many rules for locker rooms, for practices and for staff. The NFL wants the players to be as safe as possible—therefore, COVID testing will be done often depending on the positivity rate. Some players are taking the year off so that they don’t risk their health.

The NFL is still determining when fans and ticketholders can go to the games safely and how many can attend. Some stadiums are allowing limited attendance while teams including the New York Giants and New York Jets are not allowing fans to attend games until next year. There are a lot of unknowns as the season approaches very soon.

Anna Fortenberry ’23 said she is “glad football is starting soon.”

“ The NFL wouldn’t open its stadiums and let football play if they didn’t feel like it was safe for everyone. Especially now, when people are sitting at home more often, we need America’s favorite sport entertainment,” Fortenberry said.

The crowd will look very different this year as a result of safety guidelines. Even though tailgating is considered a huge part of football, this year it will not be allowed. Many stadiums are still determining the number of fans that can attend. Stadiums are going to try to social distance seating and will make masks mandatory for the safety of everyone.

On Sept. 10, the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs faced off to start the season. This game was at 8:20 p.m. and had a limited number of fans admitted. The Chiefs confirmed the stadium was at 22% capacity to start the season.

Sept. 13 was an action-packed day full of games starting at 1 p.m. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced off at 4:25 p.m. against the New Orleans Saints. For Bucs fans, it was a much-anticipated game, especially with Tom Brady being the starting quarterback this year, but the Saints won.

With the NFL in play once again, there will be plenty to watch, weekdays and weekends, in sports.

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