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The Match showed what sports would be without fans

For those of you who, like me, were itching to see what sports would be like without fans, the Champions for Charity golf match between Tiger Woods/Peyton Manning and Phil Mickelson/Tom Brady gave a good glimpse of that.
(All right NASCAR fans, I hear you!!! I know races have resumed without fans, but is not having fans in the stands at a NASCAR event the same as not having fans at an NFL game. I mean can you really hear NASCAR fans cheering!!?? Just kidding!)
As I sat and watched, a thought dawned on me: this is not how sports was designed to be played. You are not supposed to have a sporting event without fans. For me, it was as unnerving as it was surreal.
I understand that fans at a golf tournament or match aren’t the most boisterous, nor are they supposed to be. But, for myself, it really doesn’t feel like a real event without at least the “golf clap” being heard.
The talk of beginning baseball, and eventually football, without any fans or a limited amount of fans in attendance, makes me feel like I’ve waken in an alternate universe.
Fans are a very important part of any sporting event. They provide players with motivation that sometimes cannot be drawn from within themselves.
Want to know how important the vibe put out by fans impacts games, just close your eyes. Now, imagine a Super Bowl, a game seven of the World Series or NBA Championship without fans.
Hard to conceive, huh??
We all know that some fans can be overbearing. I even addressed that same issue in one of my columns last high school football season.
Aside from that, what really is the purpose of having sports if people cannot attend?
We also know very well that without fans filling stadiums, we may not have any sporting events period. The fans are what drive the revenues of the various teams and organizations throughout the sporting world.
There is no way that teams like the Saints or the Astros or our beloved Tigers of LSU would be able to financially thrive without fans filling the seats. And, most importantly, let’s not forget our high school athletic programs.
For those of you in the know, high school athletic teams are the one’s most benefitted when it comes to revenue created by tickets sells. There are a number of schools throughout the country, and particularly in this state, that would not have any sports programs at their schools if the revenue dried up.
From an emotional aspect, believe me there is nothing more satisfying for a young high school athlete hearing the roar of a crowd under the lights on a fall Friday night. As a former athlete and high school coach, just thinking about it gives me the chills.
The sad part about the whole situation is that we are being led to believe that not having fans or limiting the number of fans at sporting events will provide us with the protection we need to save ourselves from the virus that has consumed our everyday lives.
I guess the dreaded virus only attacks people at stadiums but not at Wal-Marts, Home Depots or Buc-ee’s. (Note: Buc-ee’s was packed tighter than a house on the TV show Hoarders this weekend and believe me there was no social distancing going on.)
As I have stated adamantly on several occasions (including in a recent column) we need to be able to choose for ourselves what we believe is best for us and what situation we believe is the right one to be in. I can say this with a ton of confidence, if left up to the individual, the majority of people would choose the most prudent route to take.
For now, we are going to have to fill our time watching sporting events from our homes and dreaming of the time when we can get back to being the fans that sporting events deserve.
Just my opinion!!!!

Evangeline Today

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