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Podcast: How To Do The NBA With No Fans

Sports fans root for laundry. Colors. Cities. In a way it makes no sense right? A bunch of 20-30 year old millionaire athletes from all over the United States and the world all move to one to city, put on the same jersey, have their last name on the back and compete against another team that is also a bunch of random guys/girls wearing a different color jersey and representing another city. Then 10s of thousands of us all gather in a packed stadium or millions of us in front of a TV, eat a rubbery overpriced hot dog, drink 1 or 2 (or in reality 6-7) beers, scream on the top of our lungs and root for them to put a ball in the basket, score a touchdown or hit a home run. If our team wins our day is fantastic and we are happy and walk around saying “we won”. If we lose, we are sulking for a few days, wondering if we can win the next game, and ready to call the other city a bunch of losers and talk mad shit. It makes no sense.

That’s why fans are short for fanatics. I’m a Seattle Seahawks fan so the week before we play the San Francisco 49ers. Days before the game we’ll be decked out in blue as the city has adopted “blue fridays” for the team’s colors. Our city is ready to destroy the team in maroon. Fuck them. They are the enemy. In a way we sports hate them. We’ll boo their players, yell at their coaches and tell their fans to literally go “fuck themselves”. It’s our laundry versus your laundry. And we’re rooting for the laundry in blue. If you told someone who never watched sports this or isn’t a sports fan it is basically nonsense.  With all that being said, that’s the reason sports is so powerful. It unites our cities, during international tournaments like the World Cup or the Olympics it can unite nations together even during times of war. So on March 12th, 2020 when sports was officially paused during a moment the world was on the brink of an economic and health disaster this was a sign that things were about to get serious. We may not have realized it at the moment, and many of us thought this might be a slight over cautious moment during a time of uncertainty, but here we were in the brink of our country closing our international borders closing and what unites us in the midst of tragedy is put on hiatus, leaving sports fanatics everywhere panicking. 

 

Fast forward to this past weekend. Goal! And the crowd.. remains silent? On Saturday the Bundesliga returned to action. That’s German soccer for those who don’t know. And the usual sounds of fans cheering, chanting and having full on excitement after a goal was gone. Instead of the noise of the crowd celebrating the goal we hear deafening silence. The game feels more like a golf or tennis match then a soccer match. But here’s the thing. It’s better than no sports at all. But it’s definitely better than no sports at all. Here’s the thing, we might need to accept that this could be the new normal for a while. So instead of complaining it might be time to embrace the new normal. Let’s focus on the NBA for one moment here. I have 3 ideas that I believe can make the no fan experience more enjoyable.:

 

  1. Play in gyms that don’t look so empty. I noticed in Bundesliga that the empty crowds make the game seem almost surreal. The smaller gyms would take away that feeling of emptiness.
  2. Pump in crowd noise. I would use an app for this. If you are the designated home team, the NBA or team would have a downloadable app. Every stadium would have a screen and speakers. The fan would have two options. The first would be to yell into the app which would create noise into the stadium. Some sort of algorithm would determine how loud the stadium would be. And the second choice would be to use the camera and the algorithm would choose fans from the app to be placed on the screens in the stadium. Imagine this behind the backboard on a free throw (of course there will be ads, this would help the NBA get some extra revenue)
  3. Music (I borrowed this idea from my brother). During times of silence for the players to feel more in tune and more relaxed some hip hop You could make deals with studios (this would also bring in extra revenue to the teams)

 

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On the latest episode of @justtalkpod ? I broke down 3 ways on how experience of the NBA without fans could be done and made more enjoyable ? Do you have any ideas? ? ? ? 1.Play in gyms that don’t look so empty. I noticed in Bundesliga that the empty crowds make the game seem almost surreal. The smaller gyms would take away that feeling of emptiness.? ? ? 2.Pump in crowd noise. I would use an app for this. If you are the designated home team, the NBA or team would have a downloadable app. Every stadium would have a screen and speakers. The fan would have two options. The first would be to yell into the app which would create noise into the stadium. Some sort of algorithm would determine how loud the stadium would be. And the second choice would be to use the camera and the algorithm would choose fans from the app to be placed on the screens in the stadium. Imagine this behind the backboard on a free throw (of course there will be ads, this would help the NBA get some extra revenue)? ? ?3.Music (I borrowed this idea from my brother). During times of silence for the players to feel more in tune and more relaxed some hip hop You could make deals with studios (this would also bring in extra revenue to the teams)?

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Are these ideas perfect? No. But, these are imperfect times. And Imperfect times lead to imperfect measures. It seems like it might a little bit of time until things are completely back to normal, so let’s embrace it and try to enjoy any sport we get.

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