Without fans in the stands at NFL games, the league will follow suit with what the NBA, MLB and NHL have done in pumping in artificial crowd noise to give coaches, players and viewers at home the illusion of normalcy during the 2020 season.
We've yet to see it in action yet, though the season opener Thursday night should give us a good idea of what we're dealing with. But early reports don't appear good, especially out of San Francisco.
49ers head coach and former Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan had a particularly unpleasant comparison for the pumped in fan noise.
“Oh my god," Shanahan said on the team's web series. "That really is a form of human torture.”
General manager John Lynch shared similar sentiments.
“It’s terrible. And it starts, and it doesn't stop too,” he said.
Luckily for both of them, it doesn't appear to be impacting their players on the field. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said he and his teammates didn't mind the noise at all.
Either way, the artificial crowd noise figures to be a talking point all season, maybe to the affect of some new penalty the league institutes that everyone hates for one year and then gets over it the next.