By: Chandler Hubert
The NFL season kicks off on Thursday in Kansas City where the defending Super Bowl LIV champions will host the Houston Texans. Thursday will also be the start to the season’s COVID-19 protocol. Some of the changes include players being fined for ‘reckless’ behavior like attending large gatherings without a mask, masks must be worn inside teams’ facilities and when traveling to and from a facility, and only one player will now be permitted to represent each team during the coin toss. But are these new rules enough?
The NBA and NHL have proven the effectiveness of performing sports in a bubble, while the MLB has shown the dangers of not following the bubble method. Despite this, the NFL will follow the MLB’s deplorable example and not use a “bubble” during their season. Rather, teams will adhere to their schedule that was announced in May without any significant travel adjustments. Therefore, teams will travel all over the country, rather than only their neighboring competitors’ fields. In addition, although most teams have announced their will be no fans present for the first few weeks of the season, six teams will continue to host fans – Cleveland Browns (10 percent capacity), Dallas Cowboys (TBD), Indianapolis Colts (3.5 percent capacity), Jacksonville Jaguars (25 percent capacity), Kansas City Chiefs (22 percent capacity), and Miami Dolphins (20 percent capacity).
The football season will be played- or at least part of it- during the COVID-19 pandemic, but at what cost?