The robot fan thing in Taiwan was a fun novelty at the outset of sports coming back. It made for a funny headline or two, and it was kind of a self-aware acknowledgement that things are totally not normal. I was good with it.
But if your aim is to try to create a bizarre, dystopian veil of faux reality, I’m not nearly as into it:
Joe Buck to SiriusXM’s "Andy Cohen Live": Fox Sports will pump in crowd noise and put virtual fans in the stands for NFL games in empty stadiums. SBJ Media is live: 🔒https://t.co/11fxKTc6bv🔒 pic.twitter.com/baK9S1LAsq
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) May 13, 2020
No. Nah. Initial reaction is that this is not for me.
See, the difference there is that you’re trying to make it seem “normal” when we all know that it isn’t. If there can’t be fans at the game, then just let it be how it really is: empty, quiet, and weird.
As we’ve talked about baseball games, there’s a lot of great stuff I think you can do for broadcasts precisely *because* you’re in an empty stadium without fans or crowd noise.
I suppose it’s possible the NFL will have learned some things come the fall, and maybe they’ll either scrap this idea or they’ll have figured out how to do it in a way that doesn’t paralyze people in the uncanny valley. As I sit here today, though, I am not into it. Am I alone?