Falcon Points

ESPN Poll says most fans favor sports with no fans. To the rest of you? Shame bell

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So ESPN did a poll on how people feel about sports without fans. Shocker! Of those surveyed, 24 percent said no, they are against it.

Those 24 percent are what we respectfully call "dumbs." If the choice is no fans or no sports, there is no choice.

Like a lot of things in the Ronaverse, life has changed. What we consider "normal" has changed. How can anyone say they don't want sports even if fans can't attend?

The reality is, we would take what we can get. There is no perfect solution. We all want things to get back to normal as fast as possible. The problem is there is no normal anymore. And there may never be again.

Yes, the leagues will have to be safe, implement testing and all other sorts of precautions. But as fans, can we not root from TV just as hard as we do in person?

I get the need to be with people to support your team. I truly miss being in the stands for Roughneck games or UH football or basketball games. I would kill to get to see the Toronto Maple Leafs in person again or go to Regina for a Saskatchewan Rough Riders game. However, that is just not in the cards anytime soon.

But would I love to see those teams on TV? Absolutely. If we have learned anything from this mess, it is that sports is our ultimate escape. As fans, we can come together for a few hours to celebrate the wins, and vent about the horrible coaching decisions that led to losses. (Well, Texans fans can do that).

Sports might not be truly vital, but it is something that gives us a community. And as the world becomes more virtual, is it really that difficult to sit back and watch from a distance? Comment in real time on Twitter? Can we not still be a part of things?

No, it isn't perfect. But this stopped being a perfect world the day the leagues shut down. To that 24 percent, I simply believe you aren't really fans, or you are so paranoid that you believe no on should leave the house. Count me in the 76 percent; if it can be done safely, let's play games, with or without fans.

The world is changing. Let's change with it.

New direction for SportsMap

If you missed the on air announcement, Josh Jordan is now editor of SportsMap. He has been assistant editor as we have grown this site into an absolute monster. He will continue to take it to the next level. This allows me to write more, as well as focus on some new projects at Gow Media.

Josh is a sharp young man who has earned this opportunity and will do great things. I can think of no one better to take over a site we have put our hearts and souls into building. Thanks to everyone who has become part of the SportsMap community. Things only get bigger and better from here.


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J.J. Watt, the Houston Texans all-time leader in sacks (96.0), is entering his ninth season with the franchise ahead of what will certainly be an anomaly year for the NFL. Due to the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, there is serious doubt that the NFL will be able to play a full 16-game schedule, while others express their concern with the league's inability to play any form of football come the fall of 2020.

There are a lot of uncertainties surrounding the league this coming season, which is becoming a theme for Watt's future in Houston.

The 31-year-old defensive end has two years remaining on his six-year, $100 million contract extension he signed in September of 2014. But as he prepares to embark on another year with the Texans through Zoom meetings with his teammates, a new contract is not on Watt's priority list.

"No, I don't think that's necessary," Watt told Houston reporters on Wednesday. "I fully understand and respect the situation that I'm in at the moment, and what's happened in the past few years, so I'm not gonna sit here and demand anything. I think if I went back and asked for an extension or more money, I think that would be the wrong move. I am just going out there to prove my worth and to help this team win games."

As of now, it is unsure what the future holds for Watt's career with the Texans. Should management re-sign the three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner (2012, 2014 & 2015), the question becomes: How much is Watt worth as he enters the twilight of his career? It's the subject that will be the driving force when discussing Watt's future with the team, and the segment that sparked a trade rumor of his departure to the Chicago Bears.

Although his on-field production remains extremely valuable, Watt has had a difficult time trying to stay healthy. Since 2016, he has missed 32 out of a possible 64 games due to an abundance of injuries. In 2019, Watt missed half of the season after suffering a torn pectoral during the Texans' 27-24 victory over the then-Oakland Raiders.

"My goal for every season is to do whatever possible to help this team win, and number one, that means staying healthy," he said. "You have to be on the field in order to help the team win, and then it is to play at the peak physical level I am capable of. It is just making sure I am in the best possible shape to perform that way."

Contract and injuries aside, the five-time Pro-Bowler is excited about his opportunity to play under new defensive coordinator, Anthony Weaver. During his introductory press conference two weeks ago, Weaver said Watt will remain the focal point for the Texans' defense in 2020, but acknowledged getting the future Hall of Famer through 16 games remains a hurdle.

After four seasons serving as Houston's defensive line coach, the Texans promoted Weaver to defensive coordinator in January to replace Romeo Crennel.

"I love [Anthony] Weaver... I think that he has a great mixture of knowledge of the game, experience, but also personality to be able to handle the players in the room," Watt said. "To be able to inject some fun and excitement into meetings, practice and everything, all while bringing the knowledge necessary to run a good defense."

Under the guidance of a new defensive coordinator, Weaver may be just the coach to help Watt rekindle the potential that made him an All-Pro defensive end. Regardless of the uncertainties surrounding his future at the conclusion of his contract, Watt is hoping he will have the opportunity to finish his career where it started — in Houston.

"That is a goal of mine, and this city [Houston] has been incredible to me since I got here," Watt said. "I don't know what's going to happen in the future, but I certainly hope that's the case."

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