Walking from my car this week, I was greeted by a ghost town instead of the regular tailgaters who are usually already a few beers in. I'm glad the NFL has found a safe way of entertaining its fans, even if it means there's no energy (or singers) when "Renegade" by Styx is played late in the game when a defensive stop is needed. Like most sporting events playing without fans, recorded crowd noise was pumped in.
This season, due to COVID-19 limiting the number of credentialed media, I'm lucky enough to be working on a freelance basis directly for the Pittsburgh Steelers and their team photographer, Karl Roser, as well as his staff. Transmitting images in real time to their photo editor from the field has been something I've done for big playoff games or sports tournaments but never for the first game of the year during the regular season. I counted around 15-20 total credentialed photo/video media in the stands when there are usually countless others on the sideline. Only team employees were allowed on the field, so for the first time in my career, I covered an NFL game completely from the stands. It wasn't easy, but it's a challenge I'll gladly accept every game day to help tell the story.