The NFL kicked off the 2020 football season Thursday night as the defending Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs beat the Houston Texans.

I'm a big fan of the game. Having played and as a fan that has enjoyed the competitive nature of football, watching the season opener was tough to describe. The game Thursday night was apropos as to how the entire 2020 year has been, weird, it was weird.

The pregame had more coverage of the social impact on racial injustice then how the NFL was going to get through this season virus free and how the individual teams have readied themselves with little or no preseason games. All the announcers and game presenters expressed their opinion on the social aspect and what to do about it. The Houston Texans came out for a unity song but left the field for the National Anthem.

There were 16,000 socially-distanced fans in the stands, in a stadium that holds 76,000 people in Kansas City. The announcers stated the crowd was getting no additional amplification of crowd noise. I didn’t buy that statement, it sounded like there were a hundred thousand people there and I’m sure NBC, the network who carried the game added a little juice to the crowd noise to make the game sound more exciting.

I’ve always looked at sports as an escape from the realities of day to day worries and obstacles. It’s a three hour journey where you can have fun rooting for your favorite team, having some camaraderie with family and friends and put the worrisome things on a back shelf for the time being. I care about racial injustice; I am informed and understand the importance of the subject to so many people. I care about those who have been impacted.

The 2020 season may be the beginning of the end of sports as we used to know it. It will still be competitive, the games will go on but will it be as much fun? I don’t think so. The early TV ratings are in for the game and they were down by over 20% and lower in some key demographics. We’re living in weird times, football is no different.

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