On July 14th, 2020, the city of Philadelphia announced what all sports fans knew what was coming deep in their souls- that there wouldn’t be fans in the stands for the coming Fall. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Philadelphia has banned all large scale events until February 28th, 2021. This six-month measure’s primary goal is to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep Philadelphians safe. Events ranging from the legendary Broad Street Run to the Philadelphia Marathon in November,have been impacted by this mass cancellation. Even the Philadelphia Eagles, and potentially the Phillies, will be playing in front of empty stadiums this Fall.
With COVID-19 cases surging across the country, the prospect of seeing sports of any kind played in front of fans this Fall quickly began fading. There are already plenty of questions about what sports will look like when they return to our television screens, but seeing an NFL game without fans seems implausible. However, now that Philadelphia has all but banned fans from attending games, we will see what an NFL game looks like this season without fans. If there aren’t fans in the stands chanting “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES,” does the game even count?
Is It The Time to Innovate?
Are we going to start seeing the pro sports leagues experiment with the presentation style with fans not being allowed to attend the games? We have started seeing this in MLB, where this past season, individual players would be mic’d up during the game and conduct interviews with the broadcast team while in the field. Across a slew of MLB team’s social media platforms, innovative camera angles such as “catcher cam” provide the unique look of the game from the catcher’s perspective. Taking risks like these can take people’s minds off the empty stadiums in the background. The NFL might be able to implement similar initiatives, especially giving their players mics during the game to up the entertainment value during these trying times.
With uncertainty clouding everyday life for people worldwide, we turn to sports to find that sense of normalcy that eludes us. While we won’t be able to see the games live and in person this Fall, our favorite teams can still provide us with that escape for a few hours and allow us to forget the world’s problems for a spell.
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