The prospect of playing in front of empty stadiums this season is a reality Atlanta Falcons center Alex Mack is hopeful can be avoided.
Mack wants there to be fans in the stands when games are played this fall. He hopes circumstances allow for stadiums to be full and for society to have returned to a more normal status. Having to play in empty buildings would present some challenges, especially for a center directing the offensive line.
“It would be tough,” Mack said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “I know communication would be easy but it also could be a really flat environment that’s not easy to get hyped up for. The other side of that is if the defense is trying to get hyped up, good. Make it hard them. Like maybe they’re going to be real flat and lazy. Fantastic. There’s always like a two sides to the coin kind of thing.
Without noise in the stadiums, Mack is concerned about just how much sound will be heard and recorded for broadcast as it would create some more hurdles for his position to deal with.
“I’d be concerned with people hearing my calls,” Mack said. “I don’t want that recorded and let the opposing team next week hear everything we say because then every week we have to change every code word, term, line call we’ve ever used and that, to me, is annoying and so I don’t want to do that. But I like the idea of finding new ways to entertain people and add like the second level of sports viewing for people at home because it’s all we have.”
There’s still over three full months before the first regular season NFL games are scheduled to be played. No one can say for certain what the environment will permit at that point in time. Mack is hopeful things are way closer to normal than they are now.
“We definitely want to see the world come to normal and find out a way to get fans there,” Mack said. “I think part of that is people being responsible now, making sure we take care of this in this one go and hopefully things can be back to normal come September.”