There have been some rumors circulating around about what the NFL’s plan might be for the upcoming season. The league hopes that the NFL season will be play its regular schedule. However, there is some heavy uncertainty on when each individual state will be reopened and the WHO and CDC have warned of the potential for another outbreak of COVID-19 in the fall, prime football time. I admit, it will be weird to watch sports without fans, but at this point, I think it will be weird to just be watching sports again in general. On Wednesday, Joe Buck told SiriusXM host, Andy Cohen, that networks airing the games without fans will input artificial sound. Buck said that it is “Pretty much a done deal.”
Buck also alluded that FOX, at the very least, is working on showing virtual fans in the audience. That will definitely help my brain process sports better, for sure. I can’t imagine watching a game and seeing the overhead shots of a stadium with every seat empty.
Buck followed up Thursday to clarify his statements. In a series of tweets, Buck made it clear that he wasn’t referring to pumping crowd noise into stadiums like the Atlanta Falcons were punished for in 2015, but for broadcasting purposes. In my opinion, that makes perfect sense. It wouldn’t be the same without hearing thousands of fans hooting and hollering with you while we’re all on the couch. I’m also a fan of the network working on importing virtual fans.
If the NFL is against these options, I would hope to see increased player access, such as more players mic’d up during games. Those soundbites are a great addition to games in prime time. What would you suggest the league and networks do to make everything seem normal?
-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)
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