The virus continues to spread, the cases continue to spike . . . and the NFL continues to expand the number of venues into which fans are welcome.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy points out on Twitter that nine of 14 games to be played this weekend will have fans present.
Fans will attend Bears-Panthers in Charlotte, Bengals-Colts in Indianapolis, Lion-Jaguars in Jacksonville, Ravens-Eagles in Philadelphia, Browns-Steelers in Pittsburgh, Texans-Titans in Nashville, Jets-Dolphins in Miami, Packers-Buccaneers in Tampa, and Cardinals-Cowboys in Dallas.
The NFL’s position has been fairly simple: If state and local officials permit fan attendance, fan attendance can happen. In all venues, the crowds are much smaller than they would be for a normal game, and the profit is minimal if not non-existent. Most teams are doing it simply to make ardent fans who insist on attending games happy.
Will that change as the numbers likely climb during cold and flu season? Maybe. Maybe not. Regardless, anyone who chooses to show up for an NFL game knows or should know the risk they are assuming.
The problem continues to be that the people who assume those risks aren’t simply doing so for themselves, but for everyone else with whom they come into close contact. And so on.
The even bigger problem is that tens of thousands of people refuse to see it that way.