I must confess. I almost forgot that football starts this week, and I know I'm not alone. Quite a few people have said pretty much the same thing to me.

The 'not normal' distractions this year have certainly played a part. Those COVID tentacles have wrapped themselves around just about everything. Even the mighty NFL hasn't been able to escape its grip. While it hasn't canceled any regular-season games, it did cancel preseason. And that's part of the reason why football hasn't been top of mind for a lot of us.

I miss pre-season games enough that for the first time in my 25 years of playing fantasy football, I didn't look at a single thing until 90 minutes before my first draft on Tuesday night. Normally, I would have read just about everything I could then and participated in several "mock drafts".

But nothing is normal. The year 2020 has definitely been a crazy one, and Sunday's Vikings game at U.S. Bank is going to be crazy as well -- crazy empty. But it won't sound that way. There will be plenty of "crowd noise".

According to ESPN, there will be a sound operator (just one?) that will be in charge of all of that crowd noise (70 decibels max). Apparently he's only got five levels of 'influential' buttons to choose from and those buttons are pushed based on the play that's happening. And they have those cheers thanks to the folks at NFL Films, who have recording audio from every stadium since 2016.

I can think of scenarios where this subjective judgment could be an issue. What if the Vikings are 4th and inches and go for it? You know that the crowd would boo. So, does the stadium sound guy hit the boo button?

[Source: ESPN]

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