Jones Dairy Farm Stadium may look something like this when football begins here. Credit: Daily Union
Jones Dairy Farm Stadium may look something like this when football begins here. Credit: Daily Union

Crickets in the Stands

COVID-19 keeps fans from attending sporting events.

March 26, 2021

The stands during this boys basketball game appears completely empty. Credit: TJK Wolf Productions

Covid-19 is everywhere. It has been for a while, and it has intensely shifted many people’s lives. What we once considered “normal” has been greatly altered, and many long for things to go back to normal. Athletes partaking in sports experience these feelings on a daily basis. These feelings exist at practice, games, gatherings, and special events related to their sport. But perhaps the strongest longing is something many of us took for granted in the past. 

The ability to have fans at sporting events has been notorious throughout the United States. Gyms and stadiums roar as their favorite team makes a play, the famous battles between student sections during a nail biting game, and even the funky dress up days that look like confetti from afar. It is without debate that student sections are not only a glorious experience, but are accustomed to belong at any sporting event. 

Sadly, many of these amusements have been abolished in high schools all around the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many arguments around the sensitive topic that debate whether fans should be allowed back into sporting events. Fort Atkinson High School has been fortunate enough to allow parents of athletes and managers at sporting events, but nothing more. Many will defend their belief that siblings of athletes should also be allowed to attend. Siblings show a lot of the same traits parents do, like living in the same home, spending the same amount of time together, and more. 

Along with that, the idea that students have been fortunate enough to return to school, yet cannot be in a gym or outdoors with those same people they see at school everyday is curious. Many arguments can be made about this topic, however the main concern is to keep students, families, and staff safe. The longing to bring fans back into the culture of sports is strong. The feeling of running into a gym and having the crowd illuminate with cheers is an intoxicating feeling for athletes. 

Regarding these longings, there is beginning to be a light at the end of the tunnel for athletes. It has been showing

Very few fans are present at the battle for the paddle event for girls basketball. Credit: TJK Wolf Production

since some fall sports. In the shortened season of Cross Country in the 2020 fall season, fans were allowed to pack into the finish line of the race. It wasn’t much, but people have gotten better at depicting the good from all situations. Next, Basketball, Wrestling, and Swim welcomed parents of athletes into the bleachers. Again, barely enough to inspire with that little of noise; at least it was something. Now in the altered fall season taking place February through April, the same rules apply as winter sports. Going into spring sports many athletes and students hope to allow a student section once again. Until then, athletes are making due with what they have already, refusing to take a moment of it for granted. 

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