One of FOX Sports’ A-list analysts recently made mention of a few changes Philadelphia Eagles fans can expect to see in 2020.
Normalcy is a word that keeps coming up as we all attempt to navigate through some of the most unusual circumstances we’ve ever encountered as a people. That’s why we clamor for sports, particularly the NFL. The good news for Philadelphia Eagles fans and everyone who cheers for the other 31 franchises is, right now, it appears we may get to see the 101st season of professional football, with a few tweaks of course.
Can you imagine a season of NFL football with no fans in these beautiful venues though? We’ve all imagined that’s where we might be headed, but it appears that the networks that carry the games may have a plan, at least if we listen to something Joe Buck said recently in a discussion with Andy Cohen of SiriusXM Radio.
Just in case you missed that discussion, multiple sports and news outlets, including everyone from Mike Florio of NBC Sports to Jace Evans of USA TODAY has been discussing Buck’s comments. Here’s a little of what FOX’s play-by-play guy for both the NFL and MLB had to say.
"There’s probably going to be a season in doing games with no fans, which will be difficult. I think FOX and these networks have to put crowd noise under us to make it a normal viewing experience at home."
Call it crazy, but some could argue that this, in many ways, robs us of an authentic game day experience. Sure, it sounds cool and quiet stadiums for NFL games would throw most of us off, but there isn’t anyone who will be watching that will think what they’re hearing is real if this is indeed the direction television networks go in.
Then, there’s also this. The players feed off of the energy of the stadium they play in as well. Crowd noise doesn’t just hype up other fans at the stadium and people who are watching at home, it’s what the players feed off of.
If these aren’t real fans, what’s the point? 94 WIP-FM’s Angelo Cataldi began his May 14th show by discussing this, and it doesn’t sound like he or anyone else on The Morning Team is a fan. He also tweeted out the following from his official account.
"Joe Buck says when football returns, the Fox network will pipe in fake crowd noise and will pan into stands filled with virtual fans. In other words, TV will not cover the most unusual sports situation in our lifetimes. There’s a word for that: Stupid!"
Whether you’re a fan of this one or not, you may want to get used to the idea of artificial noise and digitized fans. According to Buck, this may be “pretty much a done deal”.