Sportress of Blogitude

Aaron Donald rails against notion of playing games without fans

If the NFL is able figure out a way to begin its 2020 season on time, there is virtually no chance that fans will be attending games due to uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.

If that indeed comes to fruition and games are held in empty stadiums devoid of fans this coming fall, Los Angeles Rams superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald will not enjoy it one bit.

“You need fans to play a game,” Donald said Thursday on a video conference with reporters, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. “I don’t see how you could play a game without no fans. I feel like that takes out the excitement and the fun out of the game…

“I feel like the fans is what pick you up. The fans is what makes the game exciting. The fans will give you that extra juice when you’re tired and fatigued, when you make that big play and you hear 80,000 fans going crazy. That just pumps you up.”

A fan-less gameday experience undoubtedly would make for a surreal experience for the players. As Donald notes, players feed off the energy created by thousands of screaming fans, even in opposing stadiums.

Playing in such a sterile environment obviously would have a profound impact on players, not to mention fans watching games at home. That helps explain why networks are scrambling to come up with some truly unconventional methods through which a quasi-gameday vibe could be artificially created.

Regardless of how things play out amid all the uncertainty, Donald is keeping himself in shape the best he can by working out in his home gym. When the 2020 season actually kicks off, the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year is hoping something is figured out so fans can attend games.

“You practice, and practice is practice. And then you prepare to play a game and be on a big stage and play in front of a crowd,” Donald said. “… Just no excitement [without fans]. It wouldn’t be fun to me. I don’t think it would be fun to play a football game without fans.”