Fans react to no NFL preseason


Cory Sparks, Sports Editor

Toward the end of July, right before players reported to their respective training camps, football was added to the list of sports that UW Oshkosh canceled amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

This announcement came just a couple weeks after the decision on July 1 to cut the preseason down to two games instead of the usual four.

In terms of the response from football fans, UW Oshkosh students had mixed reactions when they were hit with the realization that the first games of the season would count.

“My first reaction was that it wasn’t really a surprise with everything that has happened so far,” UWO Sophomore Guyon Cyprian said.

The pandemic has caused mixed results in various professional sports. In the NBA and NHL, players are isolated together in a single city. There have been minimal issues in terms of players and coaching staff being exposed to COVID-19. MLB has not been doing a “bubble system,” and they have had to postpone over 15 games due to high infection rates as a result.

The NFL doesn’t have a “bubble system,” and the early cancellation of preseason competition shows how the league= commissioner, Roger Goodell, plans on lessening the spread of the virus.

Some UWO students believe that the lack of exhibition games is an appropriate cautious decision for a couple of reasons.

“No dumb preseason injuries and long quarantine time for players [are benefits]” UWO sophomore Jackson Davis said.

Although the possibility of devastating preseason injuries has been eliminated, there are also blaring issues with the first snap between opposing teams kicking off the regular season.

“There are no warm-up games to get used to the game intensity, and the younger players won’t get to prove themselves,” UWO Sophomore Troy Daub said.

Aside from the rookies battling to be on NFL rosters for the 2020-2021 NFL regular season, there are also a pair of notable quarterback starting jobs that would have been determined in the exhibition games.

The Chicago Bears are holding an open quarterback competition between 2018 Pro Bowler Mitchell Trubisky and 2018 Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, and the Patriots are holding a battle for the same position between 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton and former backup Jared Stidham.

“Trubisky over Foles and Stidham over Newton [for the starting jobs], at least for week one,” Davis said.

Regardless of the circumstances, these are still professional athletes who are expected to show up to week one able to display their full arsenal of skills, and UWO students did not hesitate when stating that fans should expect nothing less than what they’ve seen in the past.

“Well, all the players should be [ready] to go when the season starts.”