Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has never exactly been championed as a voice of reason. The filthy rich Cowboys’ owner, whose team hasn’t won a Super Bowl in 24 years, was one of the NFL’s bigshots against kneeling during the national anthem, for example. He’s an out-of-touch man, which is why he thinks fans attending NFL games this year is “important for the country.”
Jones Wants Fans in His Seats
Texas has been one of the biggest hotspots for COVID-19 this year. They were one of the first states to reopen businesses and take a far too lax approach to the pandemic. Right now, the NBA, the NHL, and MLB are playing without fans in the stands. During a press conference, however, Jones said he intends to have fans at his team’s games:
“The Dallas Cowboys plan on playing all our football games, and we plan on playing ’em in front of our fans. We’ve got some adjustments to make. We’re going to make ’em with enthusiasm and we’re going to make ’em with ‘can-do.’”
Keep in mind, the Cowboy’s stadium fits 100,000 people. So far, no major sports team has attempted social distancing among fans. Gatherings of over 10 people aren’t even permitted in Dallas right now, either.
Important for the Country?
The greatest importance for the country right now is finding a vaccine for COVID-19 and slowing the spread until we do. According to Jones, though, watching football live is very important too, he added:
“I think it’s important. I think it’s important for the country. [The NFL] can be an inspirational part of how we address COVID, not only this year but how we go into 2021.”
During a press conference, Jones didn’t confirm how many fans ideally or safely could attend games. The Cowboys’ owner suggests he’s not completely ignoring safety hazards. In his opinion, his truly glorious’ stadium’s retractable roof design would allow a “serious, serious air current” and a “naturally built airflow.” According to Jones, it could help keep fans, staff, and players safe… Without going into great detail, Jones said a team of experts have performed extensive safety evaluations of his stadium.
Dr. Fauci’s Take
Someone more qualified to talk about fans attending football games this season than Jerry Jones? An actual doctor, such as Dr. Fauci. He seriously doubted two months ago the game could be played safely. Afterall, social distancing is far more difficult in a game of football than baseball. Fauci doubted another NFL season would even happen this year (via CNN):
“Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall. If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”
We’ll have to wait and see what happens, and whether Jerry Jones gets his frightening wish.
A Message From Roger Goodell
Watching sports live lately has been wonderful and eerie at the same time. On one hand, it’s great to have some excitement and our favorite teams back. On the other hand, it’s a reminder of what’s happening in the world. Like all professional sports in action right now, the NFL will look different when it returns this year. The league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, explained a few of the differences in an open letter to fans:
“The NFL in 2020 will not look like other years. Players and coaches will be tested for the virus regularly, including every day for a while. Preseason games have been canceled. Everyone in the team environment must follow rigorous health and safety protocols to keep themselves and each other safe. When there is a positive test, strict regulations will be enforced to isolate and care for that individual and to contain the virus before it spreads. Even the sideline will look different. And, state and local health guidelines will help determine whether fans will attend the games. These adjustments are necessary to reduce the risk for everyone involved.”