FALCON POINTS

Let's discuss if the NFL's policy on allowing fans is unfair to some teams

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer brought up a topic over the weekend; is it fair that some NFL teams will allow fans while others will not?

With the season just two weeks away and the Rona epidemic showing no signs of slowing down, some teams will have limited capacity for fans; others, like the Texans, will start off with none at all.

While it's arguable that 20,000-plus fans in an 80,000-seat stadium will have much impact on a football game, it still did not stop the Twitterati from raising questions. Why not a uniform rule? Announce the first month will be without fans, then re-evaluate?

Their answer seemed simple: Money.

Unlike the NBA, NHL and MLB, they argue the NFL wants every dollar it can squeeze. Even a limited number of fans will help build the coffers. More than those other leagues, the NFL could easily survive and even thrive without fans. But they are choosing to leave it up to the individual teams. And is that so bad? There will be roughly 17,000 fans at Arrowhead when the Texans open the season in two weeks. Of course, Chiefs fans have already shown they can't be trusted when they shed their masks at an open practice, but that's another issue.

The danger to the fans is not really a concern. If they want to risk getting the virus to see a football game in person, that's their choice. If the NFL is willing to enforce a mask and social distancing policy, then there really is no issue.

Will 17,000 fans give the Chiefs an advantage over the Texans? No. Houston should be more worried about stopping Patrick Mahomes and trying to hold them under 51 points.

So why not a uniform plan like the one mentioned above?

Every state has different rules right now. Fans in the stands will not raise the risk for players, because there will be no contact. If a team can get some fans in, why not let them? To Zimmer's point, it's hardly an advantage.

The rules, however, need to be enforced. No mask, no entrance. Masks to be worn unless drinking or eating. No one within several rows of each individual group. Basically, the same thing we are asking people to do in public at restaurants. If we can do it there, why not at stadiums?

And if it goes well at the stadiums that are allowing it, that should open things up for others. And why not?

Would I go to a game if allowed? No. I will enjoy it on my TV, and everyone has the right to make that choice. If you want to go, it is allowed by your team and you are willing to buy a ticket and follow the rules?

Enjoy the game. And no, you will not be an advantage.


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Houston gets another victory in Anaheim

Astros overpower Angels again as magic number dwindles

Kyle Tucker had 3 of Houston's RBI on Tuesday night, including a two-run homer. Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

After a beatdown of the Angels on Monday in the opener, the Astros entered Tuesday's game looking to replicate that success. Though Los Angeles would put up more of a fight, Houston still used their potent offense to keep the game out of reach.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 90-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (8-3)

Losing Pitcher: Packy Naughton (0-3)

Houston's bats keep connecting to back up Urquidy

The Astros picked up on Tuesday's game where they left off on Monday, launching homers to take and extend a lead. A leadoff walk by Carlos Correa in the top of the second set up Kyle Tucker, who drove a two-run shot. Aledmys Diaz was next, making it back-to-back jacks to push the new lead to 3-0.

That gave Jose Urquidy a lead to work with, which came in handy as former Astro Jack Mayfield cut the lead to two runs with a leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the second. Other than that, Urquidy did well through five innings, allowing just two other hits over that span. LA got to him in the sixth, getting two singles to set up a three-run homer to end his night. His final line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 79 P.

The runs keep coming

He would still leave in line for the win, though, as before that bottom of the sixth, the Astros had put up seven more runs across the fifth and sixth. A leadoff walk in the top of the fifth was followed by a two-run homer by Jose Altuve, then later in the frame, an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz made it 7-1. They pushed that to double digits in the sixth, with a leadoff solo shot by Martin Maldonado, a sac fly by Carlos Correa, and an RBI groundout by Kyle Tucker, putting them up 10-1 before the homer allowed by Urquidy cut that to 10-4.

Astros win to reduce magic number again

In the sixth, Cristian Javier took over for Urquidy, finished that inning, and returned for a scoreless seventh. He ran into Shohei Ohtani to lead off the bottom of the eighth and left a fastball in the zone, which Ohtani turned around 445 feet to make it a five-run game. Javier still got through the inning, leaving just the ninth for Houston's second reliever of the night, Josh James. James would get through a scoreless inning, erasing a leadoff walk as the lopsided win paired with an A's loss reduces Houston's magic number to 4.

Up Next: The third of this four-game series will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Wednesday. Janson Junk (0-1, 2.25 ERA) will make his third career start for the Angels, while Luis Garcia (11-7, 3.37 ERA) will have the ball for the Astros.

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