Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is optimistic that the 2020 NFL season will go on as planned amid the coronavirus pandemic, and his current plan is that it will be with fans in the stands at Hard Rock Stadium. “I think there definitely will be a football season this year,” Ross said Tuesday during an interview with CNBC. “Real question is, will there be fans in the stadium? Right now — today — we’re planning to have fans in the stadium.” The NFL hasn’t made any firm decisions on whether to allow fans into stadiums during the 2020 season, but the league released its schedule earlier this month and plans to play its full 16-game slate on time, starting Sept. 10. “We all miss our sports,” Ross said. “The NFL, I think, will be ready to go. I know we’re all looking forward to it. I know I am.” But, lest history repeats itself. The Georgia Tech Alumni association posted a photo taken in its school’s stands in 1918 in which fans are wearing masks to protect themselves and each other from the Spanish Flu pandemic, which killed 650,000 Americans. The players wore helmets, not masks.
In 1918 Georgia Tech played almost a complete football schedule during the Spanish Flu outbreak that killed more than 675,000 in the US. Coached by the legendary John Heisman, The Golden Tornadoes, played six games at Grant Field. 📸:Andy McNeil, PP 01. https://t.co/KJYbe9onFE pic.twitter.com/Q7UPEMahf8
— Georgia Tech Alumni (@gtalumni) May 13, 2020
At the time, the Golden Tornadoes, played six games at Grant Field that season, coached by John Heisman of Heisman Trophy fame. Georgia Tech’s team, more commonly known as the Yellow Jackets, was coming off a 1917 season where they were generally regarded as the nation’s best. The photo is generating buzz online as football fans wonder what a 2020 season will look like with the coronavirus pandemic spreading nationwide. By most indications, the season will get underway as scheduled, for most teams, in early September. The NCAA gave teams and players the green light to begin workouts next month, though each school will decide what’s appropriate for its students. Precautionary measures including social distancing and protective face masks could be a part of the plan if and when stadiums open to the public. Whether or not the fans come is another matter.