Super Bowl LV: How NFL and Others Battle COVID in Spite of Their Fans

The NFL is wrapping up its 2020 season with Super Bowl LV as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face off against the defending champions the Kansas City Chiefs. It also marks a first with one of the participants is hosting the Super Bowl since it will be played at the Bucs' home of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. The fact that it bookends the 2020 sports year is almost unfathomable considering what the major sports leagues' had to do to survive and bring an ounce of normalcy to the stir-crazy home viewer. The NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL all had to deal with their bouts with the COVID pandemic exacerbating the zaniness considering you had groups of position players, coaches, and staff becoming infected at different times. Those who are found to be around those who later discovered infected are quarantined as per contact tracing protocol. The fact there are so many fans among the millions of ignorant who still don't take the pandemic seriously is more a reflection on them and the United States in general than anything.

American football arena. Mixed media (Signed property release on file with Shutterstock, Inc.)
American football arena. Mixed media (Signed property release on file with Shutterstock, Inc.)

We have millionaires and billionaires doing everything they can to bring as close to normal as possible to fans who don't largely deserve it. It feels like letting sports happen in 2020 was in some ways counter-intuitive. Maybe I'm an idealist, but if people didn't have such distractions and workarounds, they would have gotten with the f***ing program. There are plenty of areas in the United States who see surges of the pandemic and try to act like this is normal. Search for "healthcare worker talks COVID" on YouTube or Google, you can see hours upon hours of personal testimony from doctors, nurses, and staff alike who have to deal with the overflow of dead bodies.

 

I guaran-damn-tee 90 percent of you aren't taking the precautions or anywhere near the way the major sports leagues are for the disease. If you think wearing a mask and keeping up is some major inconvenience, think for a moment how many people the staff from the venue and team employees, players, and coaches all has to deal with on a daily basis? It's far more than anyone in most other industries ever having to deal with. Hell, you should be grateful the NFL is letting anyone in games in the first place. Even as 22,000 fans in addition to existing essential personnel working at the game, there's still a tremendous risk from not only the event itself but also from similar parties (aka super spreader instances) being thrown that you also typically didn't care about for the holidays. But you know…football. I'll watch the Super Bowl like the millions around the world in the privacy of my home with little company regardless if we deserve the game. I have no doubt we'll see another COVID surge and it will continue to be an uphill battle as we try to get more vaccinated only to find more mutated strains. Maybe this will get through to some, but this is the Internet and I expect most will be as defensive as shit and largely tone-deaf. Most of you will never appreciate what the league much less any sport does for you.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.