The 2020 NFL Season 

A season we have not seen before

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Tyce Copus, Journalist

This year everything is a new experience and football is no exception. With the new 2020 season done with week two, there are a few key things to look back on. The first difference is the fans. The atmosphere is just different without any fans. You can pipe all the sound in that you want but that can not replace the fans’ reactions. I feel like they are such a big part of the game and in places like Seattle, the fans are so loud they call them the 12th man. I’m sure NFL teams would agree because teams are starting to allow fans in as of right now. So far the most fans allowed in a game was on Sunday, 9/20/20 when the cowboys allowed 20,000 in the stadium for a home opener. Fans are such a big part of the game and so all of the teams want to have some by the end of the year.

The next difference is the masks. As you might be seeing on the sidelines, everyone but the players are enforced to wear masks. Although the players might look normal everyone including the coaching staff, trainers, and refs. One of the highlights of week one was Andy Reid’s fogged up face shield. If you haven’t seen it you can check out this article: https://www.cnet.com/news/andy-reids-fogged-up-face-shield-wins-meme-game-as-nfl-returns/

Although through week one there was a problem, the coaches were not keeping their masks on and although they have been tested for COVID-19, sometimes the tests can be wrong. After showing those unsafe and unhealthy acts the NFL said that they expect all coaches to wear masks. These coaches got fined $100,000 and the team got fined $250,000! Finally, Oakley is working on a shield that the players can wear to protect themselves also from COVID-19. So far, none of them have really scratched the surface yet. Players are complaining it would be way too hard to breathe in such a physical game.

Also most importantly the social injustice. This all started back on September 1, 2016. It was a beautiful day at Levi’s stadium and right as the national anthem begins Colin Kaepernick takes a knee. He would be criticized and shamed for disrespecting the flag, but it did not matter. He kept going until finally he was released from the team. Why does this matter? This matters because Kaperknick was just doing what he believed in, but the whole league disagreed and he did not get the justice he deserved until now. Right now there is so much hate and racism and the NFL wants to help stop that. The players will most likely protest during every game whether it’s a kneel or fist up in the air. We have also seen some creative ways to protest like taking a kneel during the opening kickoff. https://www.atlantafalcons.com/video/seahawks-falcons-show-unity-by-taking-knee-after-kickoff

Another thing was linking arms in the middle of the field and having a moment of silence for all the black people killed by police brutality. The worst part about this was the fans booing them well this was happening. This is making it look like people have not changed. Chiefs Star Tight End Travis Kelce said, “[We wanted to] let everyone know that we had their back.” https://www.sportingnews.com/au/nfl/news/jj-watt-boos-show-of-unity-chiefs-texans-nfl/1qpiuudboo7pa14zr9whvdjytsAll of the acts of unity will most likely be here for years to come until something in the world gets changed.

Something has been happening in the league. There are so many players getting injured in the first few weeks. Maybe they are not as in shape or maybe the turf is bad, but something is wrong. On Sunday 9/20/20 big names like  Christian McCaffery, Saquon Barkley, Raheem Mostert, Jimmy Goroppolo, and Nick Bosa all got hurt. I have no idea what is happening but whatever it is will hopefully stop really soon. With all the big names out in just week two and so many of them expected to be out for multiple games that can really hurt their team’s chances. I’m really hoping that by the end of week three the injuries start slowing down so that teams can have the high-quality play that you can only see in the NFL.

Overall I can’t wait to see what happens in this weird season whether it may be some random team making the Superbowl or the underdogs winning it all. With all the new protocols this will be the one outlier season in all of the NFL’s 101 years. I’ve already watched and enjoyed the season but it is not the same feeling. By next year everything will hopefully be better so that we can see the football that we know and love. This game has at least made me feel like there was something that was normal going on right now. We should all just appreciate the fact that not only football but all sports can bring us together in a time when we are apart.

 

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