• Allison Verrino

Taking the Express

The Coronavirus Pandemic shut down almost the entire sports world on March 12, 2020. The one thing that never wavered and remained constant was the NFL and Roger Goodell’s plan to not only have a season, but to start it on time with fans in the stands. We are just two weeks away from opening night, and as it stands right now Goodell is a man of his word. Of course there are those criticizing the Commissioner, saying he’s too arrogant and brash. They say that the NFL, not being in a “bubble environment”, is going to fail miserably due to an outbreak of the virus once physical contact between players starts. Critics are calling Goodell and the NFL irresponsible for the way they are going about their business. Goodell has ignored all the critics and has proceeded with business as usual and here’s why:

The NFL reported zero confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 among players from Aug. 12-20, and six confirmed cases among staffers, per SBJ’s Ben Fischer. The league conducted 58,397 tests (23,260 for players, 35,137 for staff) in that time period, working out to a 0.01% positive test rate -- down from a .46 positive rate during the first two weeks of camp.

His silence is deafening, and so are these numbers. The fact of the matter is that Roger Goodell is a realist. He knows and understands that coaches, staff members and player are bound to contract the virus, that’s just a fact of life. But what he also realizes is that the world and the NFL cannot come to a standstill because of that fact.

Thursday Night Kickoff is September 10, 2020, the Houston Texans will be in Arrowhead Stadium to play the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs at 8:20pm EST. The game will not be rescheduled or pushed back, and there will be fans in attendance. I’ve said for months on the Refractory Hour Podcast to either jump on the Goodell Express or get off the tracks because it’s coming and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

Below is a chart of how all 32 NFL teams are handling home attendance in 2020:

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