Just like the whole world, numerous announced sports events and the upcoming seasons of 2023 have been put on standby due to the consequences of the COVID-19 virus and the general changes it has brought. While some sports organizers firmly adhered to the decision that this situation is a completely legitimate justification for postponing scheduled games, the postponement or cancellation of the NFL wasn’t even considered. The owners of the teams let everyone know that the current situation shouldn’t be the reason for any rescheduling and that information is what fans and the media have had the opportunity to hear to this day.
What’s interesting is that this league is one of the few sports events that wasn’t actually affected by the beginning of the virus, since the previous season ended just before the start of global expansion. However, after the many consequences that the world has felt, countless fans around the world are probably wondering how all this will be done and how the event can take place without major consequences for health and overall safety.
Resolute from the very beginning
The plan that was adopted at the very beginning was clear. Given the planned duration of the league of 17 weeks, the decision that was made included the start on September 10, 2023, and the end on February 7, 2023.
That initial agreement and the information that appeared at first seemed to some people like a completely legitimate scenario since certain club owners and those responsible for the organization believed that the situation would stabilize by September. Indeed, no one could have guessed (and mostly can’t do it even now) when exactly the current events are expected to calm down and return to normal.
Everything went according to plan in April, when the NFL draft was scheduled. It happened, but, following the regulations, the presence of both participants and players, as well as the audience, was avoided, since the whole problem was in full swing at that time.
Unlike last year, which was attended by a huge number of people, this time everything was much different and adapted to the new situation. For the first time, there were no fans in the room, but the whole process was broadcast by video conference call, and all those who expected to attend before the regulations were set, were reimbursed for the tickets.
Health risks and canceled pre-season
However, even after the choice was made, the accuracy of the start date was still in doubt, as the situation was deteriorating day by day. The leaders always had a ready answer – that such an event is actually needed and that the best possible solution should be sought so that nothing would deviate from the plans.
This attitude worried the players pretty much, making them express their dissatisfaction on several occasions. This was primarily reflected in their appeals to the NFL organizing team to postpone the training phase, as well as the entire season, to some happier times. So far, several dozen names of athletes who refused to risk their health are known, and among them are Caleb Brantley from the Washington Football Team, Andre Smith from the Baltimore Ravens, Marcus Cannon from the New England Patriots, Michael Pierce from the Minnesota Vikings and many more.
This didn’t change the opinion of the organizers nor of the President of the United States himself, who unanimously replied that the season would still go according to plan. The first game that opens this series of matches is the Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs, exactly at 8:20 pm.
For all super fans who’ll wait for the matches in the comfort of their homes or at pubs with friends, TotalSportek has prepared a live broadcast starting from September 11th – for free, of course. The spectators will have the opportunity to watch matches of their interest and choice via live stream, as well as to read the latest news related to upcoming and current events.
However, although the start is scheduled for September 10, as announced, it isn’t excluded that there may be a delay in later matches, for which the organizers have already prepared and taken certain measures. Among other things, all the games that were part of the NFL preseason this year have been canceled, but that seems to be the only thing the team intends to remove from the plan.
The rest of the football matches are being conducted as agreed. There’s still no list of those that’ll be postponed, but it’s known that some of them that were supposed to be played in London and Mexico City have been moved from their original locations in the USA.
Of course, there are certain protocols in the camp that all players who will attend the matches must adhere to for the good of all teammates, staff and other participants. At the request of the football players, each and every one of them was tested for COVID-19 every day for the first couple of weeks, for increased safety and as a preventive measure. Apart from that, the additional measures were also included in this concept in order to ensure that the risk is minimal – and it seems that everyone respects it in the prescribed manner.
The world was definitely surprised by an uninvited guest in the form of a pandemic that affected most of its parts, but that didn’t prevent the continuation of football adventures. Maybe this is exactly what the world needs – to briefly forget all the troubles and problems caused by the current situation and turn its thoughts to what has always aroused passion and excitement in it. Loyal fans will be here this year as well, in one way or another. They’ll be following one of the biggest existing sports events and wholeheartedly support their favorites – so the only thing left for us to see is what exactly awaits us on that famous September 10 and try to make it work as a true spectator community.