The bright lights of the stadium illuminate the cheering crowd. The sound of football cleats to turf can be heard from either side of the field. The sound of a whistle blows as the end of the play has occurred. The crunching of popcorn can be heard from the third row. These are the sights and sounds of American football season, and it is among us.
Some of you might be jumping for joy that the popular American sport is back, while some of you might be dreading the next four months of the year because you are simply not a fan of the sport. Regardless of which side you stand, what is evident is that one of the most popular sports in America has returned for another year, and things are looking quite different.
Just two years ago, when the football season began, stadiums would be packed with people, dressed in their favorite player’s jersey, or wearing face paint to represent the colors of their favorite team. No seat would be left empty. Now, here in 2021, while the stadiums are beginning to fill up again, there is one noticeable difference; not every seat is filled. This is due to Covid-19, the virus that shook the world, and stopped it in its tracks. What Covid-19 forced football fans to do for the 2020 season was to watch the games from behind a television screen, taking away from the excitement of watching the game in person.
Not only did the 2020 season of football affect viewers, it also affected the teams, from the coaching staff, to the players. Without the loud effect of cheering and chanting from the crowd, football stadiums would echo only silence, causing the players to feel no excitement, and therefore, no motivation to work hard and win the game for their fans. Football is so much more than a sport that is played; it is a joined celebration between teams and their fans.
As we look today at the 2021 football season that is currently in session, we begin to see this communion rejoice once again; this time, with a few accommodations. While most stadiums are allowing for seats to be filled to max capacity, there is still the ongoing issue of wearing a mask. What can be seen as the football season has begun is that while some stadiums are requiring masks, others are not. This can perhaps be due to the vaccinations that a solid majority of American citizens have partake in.
So, if you are one of those diehard football fans, who will most likely find themselves standing in one of the rows of your team’s stadium, what you will see around you is an array of masks and no masks, vaccinations and no vaccinations. Therefore, it will be up to the individual, and their opinion of safety, on whether to attend the games, and cheer for their favorite team, or remain at home, and watch on the television screen, just like all fans were forced to do in 2020.
As a football fan myself, I could not be more excited that another season is here. So, cheer on your favorite team, put on your favorite jersey, and let’s get to celebrating!