Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said this on Tuesday:
“As much as I hate to say this, because we’ve all been looking forward to that and I know how much it means to the Canton area and the Stark County area, and really across the country,” DeWine said in a quote courtesy of Yahoo.com. “Having a crowd that size is highly unlikely. Certainly it could not occur today, it would be very dangerous to do it today.”
DeWine was referring to the Steelers and Cowboys Hall of Fame Game scheduled to take place on August 6 at Tom Benson Hall Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The fact the “crowd that size” he was talking about would only be 23,000 or so—the seating capacity at Tom Benson Hall Stadium—indicates that the governor expects to have a lot less in attendance on August 6. Heck, maybe he doesn’t expect, or want, to have any fans in the stands at all.
Maybe he’ll forbid it, same for the Hall of Fame ceremony which, at last check, has already sold 10,000 tickets.
But he didn’t say anything about canceling either event. Would the Hall of Fame go ahead and cancel the game and induction ceremony because of a lack of fans?
I hope not.
Sports fans could use some good old-fashioned sports. They could also use some inspirational Hall of Fame induction speeches, especially at a time like this.
And judging by the way things are going right now, with the other major professional sports leagues still trying to figure out the logistics of starting/resuming their campaigns, the Hall of Fame Game could act as the official resumption of major professional sports after a five-month layoff due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Would it really matter if fans are in the stands at Tom Benson Hall Stadium?
It wouldn’t for me. For that matter, I wouldn’t care if a single fan was allowed to step inside any NFL stadium across the country in 2020. The only thing I care about is games being played and being played in a safe environment.
If it doesn’t include live fans, fine by me.
They say football and television are the perfect marriage; what better time to find that out for sure, right?
What would you rather be doing in November? Would you rather be talking about an important Steelers matchup which will be played in a stadium without fans or discussing the next way-too-early 2021 mock draft?
I know which topic I would find more appealing.
If you think news-days are slow right now, six months without actual football will make you want to tear your hair out.
If you’re disappointed about what the governor said with regards to fans and their attending Hall of Fame weekend, don’t be.
At least the game is still scheduled to be played. When games start to be canceled, that’s when the real disappointment will start to set in.