The Chicago Bears are likely to be facing a full-strength New Orleans Saints club in their playoff game this weekend, with Alvin Kamara expected to be out of the COVID protocol by Sunday, and Michael Thomas possibly back from IR.
What the Bears are *not* likely to be facing is a full-strength New Orleans crowd, because that would obviously be nuts. I mean, no one would even suggest such a silly thing right now. You’d have to be a tot
Payton was asked if there is any home field advantage for Sunday vs. the Bears. He mentioned an idea of testing 50,000 people and bus them to the Dome to have a COVID free environment. “I think that’s possible. It can be done.”
— Brooke Kirchhofer (@brookechesney) January 6, 2021
Sean Payton said he suggested the idea of quarantining 50,000 Saints fans to create a scientifically-safe home-field advantage in the Superdome. … Doesn't sound like he'll get his wish, but those wheels are always turning.
— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) January 6, 2021
What concerns me most about this idea is not packing 50,000 people into an enclosed space during a raging pandemic, because hey, that’s never going to happen. Instead, what concerns me is that the leader of a football team – which has been, itself, operating during a pandemic – is apparently still unaware of the incubation period for COVID-19. Testing people now for a game on Sunday would certainly weed out the majority of active cases, but that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be plenty of spreaders by Sunday … in an enclosed space with 50,000 people. That’s the kind of scenario we’ve been reading about for months, where 10 or 20 active cases winds up turning into 10,000 within a couple weeks.
I don’t see something like this happening in the pre-vaccine COVID world.
Also, Payton himself recovered from COVID last year, and the Saints were later the subject of some scrutiny for their adherence to the protocols, so you’d think he would be on the more cautious side?
The Saints have been able to have a few thousand fans at games lately thanks to the ability to spread them out at great distances. But the idea that you could realistically pull off something with 50,000 people just four days before a game, and then not have stray cases throughout the stadium is simply not plausible or safe.
Hey, man. Just be happy you’ll have Kamara and Thomas probably, OK?