As the pandemic is still very much present in our lives, the NFL gravy train keeps on moving. Barring any major incident, the Super Bowl 2021 is still happening on the 7th of February 2021.
Even more so, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to invite vaccinated health care workers. In a letter to Rob Higgins, president of the host committee for the Super Bowl, Roger aims to “honor and thank health care workers for their extraordinary service during (the) pandemic” and promote the importance of vaccinations.
It has been a small miracle the NFL was able to keep going as it did, as we all know it wasn’t smooth sailing at all.
Most critics would give the NFL the lowest grade of all the professional sports in terms of handling the pandemic. Although the NFL has tried to flip the schedule around after a few positives in the league, the continuance of the whole constellation of college games and 3rd and 4th rate bowl games isn’t a smart move.
This is in stark contrast to the NHL and NBA, where they created bubbles and tried to control the spread. When this is all over, we might have to review the whole situation and take some lessons learned. The safe bet is on some mea culpa from the commissioner and the promise to do better.
Super Bowl 2021 and the New Season
Regardless, the Super Bowl is very much happening on the 7th of February. But what can we expect from the regular season of 2021/22? The NFL will start its normal season again on the weekend following the first Monday of September.
Hopefully, we will have seen the worst of the pandemic by then, and the vaccine(s) will be widely distributed and administered. From a viewer’s perspective (and even from a player’s one), the game is not the same without substantial fans and crowds with the accompanying live noises.
For the NFL franchise, this is crucial to keep the game vibrant and interesting and keep advertisers happy, thus continuing the gravy train. Who knows what the 2021/22 season will bring, perhaps that the Washington Football Team (or whatever their new name will be) can be a contender? Stephen Troese surely hopes so and wants you to follow him on his new blog.
17th Game in Season 2021/22?
The NFL 2021/22 season might even see some significant changes. NFL team owners have paved the way to see the regular season go from 16 to 17 games. The idea behind having a 17th game is that it gives the NFL the opportunity to schedule an extra game that pits one formidable team against a contender from the opposing conference.
This could have major postseason ramifications. Of course, there are a few things still pending before we can expect to see these 17th games. One of these things is obviously down to the broadcasting rights and commercial agreements.
At this stage, the NFL owners have agreed on the procedure but have not yet committed to doing it. The gravy train needs, well, gravy.