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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1. Davis Mills had an up-and-down day under center Friday. One play saw Mills drop back and try to get rid of the ball as Jonathan Greenard was rushing him only to have Greenard leap up and intercept Mills for what would have been an interception returned for a score.

2. A few plays later Davis Mills showcased his short memory. Mills surveyed the field, looked off the safety, and pitched a strike to Brevin Jordan over the middle, wide open, for a touchdown.

3. Davis Mills doesn’t stack bad plays. It is rare to see multiple bad plays happen in a row and Mills be the cause, or a cause, of the play not working. When he misses something, he usually makes up for it the next play.

4. It was a makeshift offensive line on Friday. Max Scharping played a lot at left guard. Charlie Heck saw some snaps at left tackle while Laremy Tunsil took a breather. Veteran lineman Cedric Ogbuehi played some at right tackle. There was plenty of work emphasized on the rushing attack Friday. The offensive line was fine, nothing special. I would say slight edge to the defense overall.

5. Rookie Kenyon Green didn’t practice. Right tackle Tytus Howard didn’t practice either. Pro Football Network is reporting Tytus Howard is out with a positive Covid test. Kenyon Green was banged up last practice, but Lovie Smith expects both back in the coming days.

6.The offensive line had its hands full with the defensive line today. Jonathan Greenard made the above-mentioned play of the practice with an interception. It felt constantly like there was some level of success from the defensive line. Not to say they dominated, but I would think the defense is happy with their day.

7. Maliek Collins has been a nice player in camp. He looks a bit quicker than last year. Collins downplayed how many “close” plays he had last year citing that everyone knows the saying “close but no cigar.” I asked him if he expected a lot of cigars this year. He chuckled and said yes. Teammate Roy Lopez gushed about what he believes Collins can be for this team and called his teammate one of the best defensive tackles in the league.

8. I almost wonder if quiet Derek Stingley days are good days. Stingley wasn’t involved in a lot of plays, but I know Davis Mills saw him on Friday. Mills dropped back on one play and made a read to his left seeing Chris Moore. Stingley darted from coverage towards Moore causing Mills to move off Moore and head to Nico Collins for a score. Yes, the defense allowed a touchdown, but Stingley did his job.

9. Rookie safety Jalen Pitre is a “starting” safety for the team according to Lovie Smith. Pitre had an interception, depending on who you ask, in practice. It is clear the Texans trust him and have put a lot on his plate. I would expect to see a lot of the rookie safety, good or bad, this season.



10. Lovie Smith praised the team’s depth at linebacker earlier in camp. I scoffed a little at the notion, but there seems to be a new linebacker making a play each day. Christian Kirksey had a nice stop in the run game today. Kevin Pierre-Louis, who played very little last year, has flashed. There’s some depth here, despite my skepticism.

11. Ka'imi Fairbairn doesn’t have a challenger in camp this year. I believed this offseason should have seen at the very least someone to challenge the kicker heading into his seventh year in the league. He’s been solid in camp so far, but there have been some misses. It is tough to judge distance, but the team clearly has faith in him with no challenger in sight.

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