It would seem we’re finally beginning to exit the pandemic (although we’re not out of the woods just yet). Many states, including Texas, have lessened or outright removed public gathering restrictions. In response to this positive trend, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the best PR statement he could with regards to ticket sales recently.
Roger Goodell says the NFL expects to have full stadiums in the fall. "All of our fans at all of our stadiums."— Judy Battista (@judybattista) March 30, 2021
NFL Games and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Many people point to the need for everyone to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccinations before giving the all clear signal. The NFL allegedly has only invited people who have received the vaccine to the 2021 NFL Draft.
As with anything these days, it seems, there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the rather large number of vaccines available to the general public. On one side, those who are radically pro-vaccine are pushing to make it mandatory that everyone get vaccinated. On the other side are those strongly against any sort of vaccination mandate, spurred on by multiple reports of undesirable side effects from fatigue to mild flu-like illness to life-threatening blood clotting to permanent immune system damage and much worse. In a country where we can’t get everyone to wear a mask in public properly, forcing everyone to get vaccinated is a tall order. At this juncture, the NFL has not required all players and team personnel to get vaccinated, but that may change.
Will Fans Continue to Support The Houston Texans?
All COVID-19 concerns aside, the Texans themselves have shot the franchise in the foot enough times that they need to reload the gun before they can fire again.
- Trading away fan favorite players like Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins.
- Keeping Bill O’Brien around long enough to ensure 2020 was a lost season.
- Allowing Jack Easterby to sow discord and ill will with players, employees and fans.
- Firing key team personnel such as Amy Palcic and watching Jamey Rootes resign.
- Mucking up their relationship with Deshaun Watson.
- Creating a culture that led to J.J. Watt wanting out - and letting him leave.
- Deshaun Watson’s off-field legal issues.
And the list goes on.
People want to support a winning culture. People want to support organizations that are striving to make the world a better place. So far in 2021, the Texans are failing mightily at putting that image out there. While there will always be two camps that support the Texans (1: absolute diehard fans, 2: corporate ticket buyers who could care less how the team is so long as they have luxury box tickets to woo employees and potential business partners with), the question remains: will the core Texans supporter stick around for this new iteration of the team?
There are quite a few anecdotal tales out there of lon- time season ticket holders giving up their seats in this current storm of controversy. There are even tales of people close to the McNair family who stopped supporting the team.
Is this all just “tough talk”? Are these factual indicators the team is bleeding fan support through a fire hose of disappointment and anger? How will all this, combined with the reality of COVID-19, actually affect game day attendance? It’s anyone’s guess at this point in time.
Where do you stand?
Will you attend a Texans home game in 2021?
This poll is closed