By: Ray Olivier
Fortunately for football fans, the NFL has been taking this process seriously and have taken into consideration the severity of any missteps and how one loose cog in the engine could slow down the hi-speed train that is the National Football League. Their process of continuously testing members of each organization and isolating anyone who may be at risk or infected has kept play on the field and given Americans a reliable distraction. With an unprecedented winter looming the prospect of watching football each week gives fans a chance to escape from this frightening reality and be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Although we are in the first few weeks of the season it is promising that the League will get through the entire schedule and the playoffs unscathed. The next step would be for fans to be able to attend games. Some stadiums, like Arrowhead and TIAA Bank Field, are already allowing fans, but teams like the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots would please their fans if they were allowed to have some sort of capacity in their stadiums. Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker has been hesitant to allow public gatherings of more than twenty-five people which makes the possibility of fans being allowed into Gillette unlikely. But if Governor Baker were to adjust his stance then maybe he would allow fans to enjoy the entertainment that is the New England Patriots.
Of course fan attendance is not a priority for the League right now, but to have the merchandise and gate proceeds coming in for these organizations would benefit each state’s economy because money coming into the stadium means more money going to the state’s tax revenue stream.
The NFL reigns supreme when it comes to entertainment in this Country. Evidence being that for the week of September 14th the NFL had four of the top ten television programs, according to the Nielsen rating. The Sunday Night Football program came in with a 10.0 rating and 17,689 viewers, which was number one. 6,183 more viewers than the next program, which was also a part of the NFL package.
Whether fans are in the stadiums or not the television ratings have not been affected much. Yes, some people have stopped watching due to their discomfort with the social justice stance the League has taken, but overall the NFL has been able to “own” a day of the week just as they have for the past forty years.