No need to make an audible on your plans this fall, NFL fans.
While several college conferences and the Canadian Football League have canceled their seasons the NFL is holding firm as it prepares to unveil Plan XB1.
Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today the league is moving forward with plans to play a full 17-week season in front of fans by utilizing the latest technological advancements that will allow top-end gaming.
“The NFL will play a full season of football, and we will play in front of our fans,” Commissioner Goodell said. “I think with all that has been going on the last several months it’s important we give weary fans a break from their depressing, poor people’s lives.”
According to a statement from the commissioner, teams will immediately begin implementing Plan XB1 to get a normal season underway. The plan, which reportedly calls for each franchise to receive a Samsung Wall TV, an X-Box One, a Google Fiber internet connection, and a copy of Madden 2021, will allow ticket holders to watch their favorite team from the comfort of their own homes.
“When doing research we noticed that people watching other people play games online has become hugely popular, and best of all, it’s cheap, well, for us,” Goodell said.
The league provided additional information shortly after the press conference, including the requirement every fan wear a face covering at all times once settling into their home’s couch. There will also be mobile-only ticketing, 100 percent cashless transactions for any concessions in the house, and husbands, wives, and kids won’t be allowed “to comingle” during the game. However, each person watching the game will be required to purchase a ticket and stay in their seats at all times unless the movement is approved by the league’s new sky judge.
With the league moving forward business as usual, Goodell urged fans they should do should as well. To help get things moving, the league said pricing for all tickets, concessions, and parking will remain at pre-COVID levels. For example, said Goodell, when watching the game on a sofa, fans can upgrade their seat locations to the end with the armrest by purchasing a Personal Seat License (PSL) that range from $500 to $45,000 per seat.
The system is being lauded by the NFL Players Association, who say the new XB1 plan will help cut down on player injuries.
However, not all injuries can be avoided. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said just like in a regular season, new Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski is forecasted to suffer three concussions in the first half of the season and will likely miss game time.
“Injuries are still a part of the game, no matter where it’s played,” Smith said, noting that when he played on his game system last week Tom Brady broke his hip as he was walking onto the field for the pre-game coin toss in Week One’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
“What I do fear is that Microsoft makes Xbox, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it freezes in the middle of gameplay and we have to restart the whole thing. At least the lockout wouldn’t be blamed on us (the Players Association’s) this time.”
Closer to home, Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he is ready for the season if the league moves toward the XB1 option. He said he has adjusted his workout regime to strengthen his right thumb, which he injured early last season and sidelined him for six weeks, for better mobility with the controller joystick.