A Glimpse into the NFL on Super Bowl Sunday

During the pandemic, the NFL did proceed to host football games. However, new safety protocols were introduced during the NFL’s continued season. Some of these included a limited number of fan presence at the games. With the recent Super Bowl event, the guidelines and protocols taken varied from the corporations set standards.

The following protocols are required for staff and players in the stadium. Players who are not wearing helmets, substituting on the sidelines or getting prepared to enter the game are required to wear double-layered gaiter (a neck warmer also worn as a face mask), or a standard face mask. For the post-game interactions the staff or players will be limited. Traveling teams must wear a N95 or KN95 mask on the plane and or bus. The NFL and NFLPA used a testing program during the 2020 season to help keep track of the cases, identify, treat and isolate infected individuals and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to NFL Football Operations.

The Super Bowl took place at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida on February 7th 2021.The Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers went head to head in the Super Bowl. The Buccaneers dominated the Chiefs 31-9. Fox News announced, “Super Bowl LV will host 22,000 fans including 7,500 vaccinated health care workers.” It is also stated that the health care workers are receiving free tickets to the game in appreciation of their hard work. Their protocols will be podded seating, mandatory masks, touchless concession stands and security checkpoints. The podded seating allowed fans to buy seats as a group, this will enforce the fans to social distance.

Many healthcare care workers have been trying to stay safe while trying to keep others safe as well. Some students think free tickets to the Super Bowl are not fair.

Devin Martin is a football player and student at Vanden High School. “No, I do think health workers should get a discount just like the military but not for free because the school still has to make money but health workers have had a hard time with patients so they should get a discount” Martin says. He also says it is not safe to travel during this period because COVID-19 is still high in many places.

Due to COVID-19 there have been many changes to things like the 2021 NFL scouting combine, an organization for football players to get scouted by NFL coaches. Mike Jones, a reporter for USA today said,“the entire evaluation will take place remotely.” In person workouts are a no-go. All of the workouts will be taking place on separate pro days on the college campuses. Mike Jones states, “The NFL will work with colleges to ensure uniformity of those workouts.” Teams will be allowed to hold a 15-minute virtual interview with the draft prospects of interest.

As of now, the NFL officials are trying to develop a system of how medical evaluations will be taking place. Traditionally the draft prospects will meet with local and national reporters in addition to meeting at the combine. This time “media availability for those interviews also will take place virtually,” says Jones.