The LA Rams will play their home opener against the Dallas Cowboys in an empty SoFi Stadium
The LA Rams will be playing in the 2020 NFL season for all accounts and estimations. Their home field is SoFi Stadium, the crown jewel of the NFL. The team has worked hard to get to this point. Many hours have been logged by the 80 players in Rams jerseys. Many more hours have been logged by the organization, coaches, support staff, and construction crews to pull everything together to make that all possible.
The 2020 season itself has been filled with twists, turns, and cul-de-sacs. When the 2019 season ended, many of the teams who underperformed were optimistically hopeful about their chances in 2020. And yet, following the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, it became clear that this would not be a normal season. NFL teams were forbidden to have direct contact with prospects. Pro Days around the country were canceled. Gathering in groups was out, while social distancing and wearing protective masks are in.
Greatest home-field advantage lost for now
Its the gathering part that continues to dominate the NFL. Specifically, the risks involved with gathering in large groups to watch football teams play games in stadiums. With no cure, rapid transmission of a disease that can be asymptomatic or deadly, the NFL advised that stadiums may not be full to capacity. The LA Rams and LA Chargers have gone one step further. As of right now, there will be no fans in the stands at SoFi Stadium for the foreseeable future
While this is no surprise, it certainly is disappointing. The 2020 LA Rams may be far better than expected, and that may not last into 2021. Is this the last hurrah for the team, or a new chapter? However you see it, there is no doubt that everyone agrees that SoFi Stadium was not build to have empty seats.
If nobody is there, is it as significant?
The LA Rams are a special team this year. While it may not have been anointed as such by the nationals sports media, this team has been forged through adversity. Lacking confidence from most, they have come to have confidence in one another. As many have pointed to the Rams and project disappointment, those who know the Rams know that this team is quietly seething, a team far better than most give them credit for.
The Rams could have a solid season, and may even claim the NFC West Title. if they do, will it matter as much if nobody sat in the stadium to cheer them on to victory? Or will the fact that the victories came within a magnificent but silent stadium taint the experience? The LA Rams may have to wait for the applause. But they needn’t wait for wins.