As the sports world remains paused due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are left to wonder when the games we love will be played again and how that will look.
The NBA and MLB both are looking at several contingency plans. The NFL, on the other hand, is planning to have a normal season with fans in attendance. A South Bay health official threw cold water on that this week when he suggested an optimistic goal would be to have sports return by mid-November. California Governor Gavin Newsom has said he doesn't expect to have full NFL stadiums in the fall, and there's doubt as to whether or not there will be fans in stadiums at all.
49ers tight end George Kittle is trying to look at the bright side of playing in empty stadiums.
“Home games will definitely be weird but if I can go into Seattle or New Orleans without fans there, that will make my job a lot easier,” Kittle told Mike Florio on #PFTPM on Friday. “I wouldn’t have to listen to anything. No more silent counts, nothing like that. That would make my life really easy. Hey, I’ll play on the road. That’s fine. No worries with that.”
Without the deafening crowd noise at CenturyLink Field or the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, playing the Seattle Seahawks or New Orleans Saints on the road would be much more manageable.
Of course, the 49ers didn't have much problem in that area last season. They went into New Orleans and won a shootout with the Saints thanks to Kittle's giant catch-and-run that set up a game-winning field goal. In Week 17, the 49ers survived a late rally by the Seahawks in Seattle with Dre Greenlaw's tackle of Jacob Hollister at the 1-yard line on fourth and goal sealing the NFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
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Sports eventually will return in time.
When they do, no matter how it looks, it will be cause to celebrate.