Will The NFL Become Another ‘No Fans League?’

By Adam Greene

Former Atlanta Falcons and Houston Oilers head coach Jerry Glanville tosses out a gag pretty much anytime he has an excuse to do it. He’ll work the conversation or complaint around, setting himself up for what is pretty much his catchphrase, “This is the NFL. Which stands for ‘Not For Long.’” He’ll add an addendum in there depending on the situation, but it’s a solid bit. One that NFL Films has delighted in sharing pretty much every time he did it on the sideline.

But now, in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic and the desire of some, especially in the southern United States (which I happen to live) to run face-first into the COVID-19 woodchipper while praising Jesus and Donald Trump as they do it, the NFL could stand for “No Fans League.”

Because that’s what we’re going to get. All because your crazy uncle who shares YouTube conspiracy videos claiming Dr. Anthony Fauci is a deep state lizard person, has to bring an AR-15 with him to safely go to church and thinks Bill Gates wants to implant a microchip into his aorta with a vaccine won’t wear a mask when picks out a watermelon at Walmart.

It didn’t have to be this way. In America you can ask someone to wear a shirt and shoes in your store, but to request a mask to protect your employees and other customers is to invite the real disaster; a Instagram live post of your Aunt Karen requesting to speak to a manager.

So here we are. Just bored, entitled, dumb and, as a civilization, eager to jump right into the shark’s mouth with a hot new mani-pedi and freshly frosted tips.

Still, the NFL is coming back. Sports has already started its return with NASCAR literally setting the pace with fanless events. In South Korea, they’re playing baseball with no human fans in attendance, but instead platoons of sex dolls we can only hope weren’t bought second hand.

When asked over the weekend if the NFL would have a season, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told CNBC that there was no debate. There “definitely will be a football season this year,” Ross said. “…(the) real question is will there be fans at the stadium.”

So it’s just happening. The NFL is a made-for-TV sporting event and as much money as the owners rake in from ticket prices and concessions, nothing comes close to their television contracts. Ticket sales aren’t even the icing on the cake. They’re the little Elmo figurine you toss off after your nephew covers the whole confection with spittle after making a wish.

Remember when we would let some rogue child huff air out of his mucus-laden face hole to extinguish little fires atop a sheet cake that you would then eat next to a scoop of Cookies & Cream Breyer’s on a paper plate beside a half-eaten hot dog? Man. We were all weirdos a few months ago.

The games are on. Will there be fans?

Ross wants them, as do the other NFL owners and it would be possible if they would limit ticket sales, keep families and groups distanced from each other and enforce mask use and distance at the concession lines.

But with a vaccine still months away at best, we, as a society, will have to do the right things to make sure we can do even that. Wear your mask when you go to Kroger. Keep your hands washed. Stop thinking that the World Health Organization and all the countries of the planet along with thousands of dead people have joined together in an evil cabal to take down your favorite politician or cancel your annual corn hole competition.

So will we? Will we make the correct choices that will enable us to enjoy live sports together once again?


There’s a reason that “no fans” is at -260.

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