Seven-plus months, yes let that sink in, for more than seven months we as a nation have been adapting to COVID-19. We (sports fans) were not allowed in any sporting venue. During this time, I have to give credit to the stadium operators for providing us with the artificial crowd noise to help bring some normalcy to the game. Over the past week more and more stadiums have allowed fan attendance at events. Although it is not at full capacity seeing live people’s reaction on television has been refreshing. Notable fan reactions include “Heartbroken Cowboys fan being consoled by his girlfriend,” “Hawaiian shirt guy at game five of the World Series” and the timeless “Paper bag wearing fans at the Jets game”.
During the last several months we have enjoyed virtual fans and cardboard cutouts, again that has been fun but I am looking forward to having sold-out crowds, chants at wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts events, rowdy student sections at college football games, and emotional facial expressions caught when a major upset occurs. Of course, I mean I can not wait but I will until the pandemic is under control. I don’t want to see any setbacks to where zero fan attendance is back in effect.
Over the last several months I watched sports and reminisced about the events that I have attended and the events that I had planned to attend this season. My first baseball game was at the Oakland Coliseum in 1997 when the Athletics hosted the Cleveland Indians. I was so excited I got to sit behind the visitor’s dugout (which worked out well for me as I was rooting for the Indians). My first wrestling event was a house show in San Jose where I saw Bret Hart take on Triple H in 1998. As an avid wrestling fan, over the years I have been blessed enough to be able to take photos for various promotions and truly miss seeing the crew and fans.
The Super Bowl is in less than 100 days and I can not imagine not having fans in the stadium. To ensure that we all return to a sports event sooner rather than later, let’s be smart and safe.
Dennis D. Cruz is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.