By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
It’s time again for the Our Turf Football Fan Forum. For those new here, once a month I ask the members of our Fan Forum a question to get their thoughts on the state of their team or football in general. Since this month is full of holidays and (hopefully) good cheer, I decided the question should reflect that.
In a season we weren’t even sure would happen, there have been a lot of ups and downs. Between very little training camp, no preseason, and COVID-19 issues, there has been a lot that has gone wrong in the 2020 season. However, in my opinion, there has been a lot that has gone well too. And that was my question for the forum.
In a season that wasn’t guaranteed and had lots of things going against it, what has gone well? I told the members it could be about anything NFL, and they came up with some fantastic answers.
Ashley Petty, our Buffalo Bills fan, is very please with her team’s quarterback.
“This year, Josh Allen has been such a positive surprise to not only in the Buffalo Bills organization but the NFL as a whole. Nobody expected this kind of development from such raw talent in 2018. It’s been amazing to watch the past three years and see how he’s grown as a player and as a person. With so many primetime games on the horizon for the rest of December, the NFL will be on Allen watch, whereas Billsmafia will finally sit back and be thankful that after 20 years it finally seems like the franchise quarterback position torch has been passed from Jim Kelly to Josh Allen.”
Raechelle can’t believe that 2020 brought her team, the Cleveland Browns, a winning season, and the playoffs in their reach.
“In this era of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of everything, there is one sure thing. The love of football. This year with everything being canceled, the craziness of not knowing if the NFL was even going to have a season and if they did, were the players and staff going to be able to stay healthy? Thank goodness for the most part the answer is, yes!
As of this writing, the Cleveland Browns are now 9 and 3! Who woulda thunk it?! I came into this season with little to no hype. My heart was still healing from last season and there was no way I was going to come into this one with expectations. I had a lot of hope, but little expectations. Yes, the injury bug plagued the Browns early on. Between Mack Wilson, OBJ, and several others, then the COVID positive cases with a few players and some having to quarantine, it’s enough to drive a lady to have a cocktail or 3. With that being said, there was no way that I thought we would be where we are.
We as a fan base have a lot to be hopeful about. We FINALLY have a QB that is THE franchise leader of the future. Hell, I was even a doubter for a bit there. We FINALLY have a coach that learns from his mistakes, turns them around, and makes the team better. This time last year we were already thinking about Freddie being gone. Now, we are thinking playoffs!
What a year 2020 has been. What a hell of a time to be a Browns fan! I have been all-in on this team since I was a baby Dawg, and I’ll be all in until I die! Will you? HERE WE GO BROWNIES, HERE WE GO!!!!”
Derrick has been encouraged with not just his own team, the New England Patriots, but the entire league.
“2020 has been a challenge for all of us and the NFL was no exception. To be honest, the fact that we’re entering Week 13 is a miracle. With so many things that have gone on this season especially with many players testing positive for COVID-19, countless injuries, coaches being fired, etc. I think that the season has put things in perspective.
Take my team, for instance, I really thought when we were 2-1 that things would be going well but after Cam Newton and a few other players tested positive for COVID, and the number of injuries we’ve sustained, just to be 6-6 right now is something I’m truly grateful for.
If we can finish the season at .500 or better, I will be satisfied because in 2021 we get our COVID opt-outs back, we’ll have close to $100M in cap space and we’ll be able to draft well, bringing in some hot free agents and make some trades to rebound and get back to our winning ways.”
MommyUnit was worried about the players this season but impressed with how well her Seattle Seahawks and the rest of the league has done in dealing with this strange season.
“Watching the Seahawks play games in an empty stadium has made me ache, but seeing football at all has admittedly felt so good. I’ve been more than a little surprised most teams did a better job with protocols than I had anticipated, also the schedule has mostly been maintained and hasn’t slid into the untenable when Covid hit a team. I was also impressed that the Seahawks remained Covid free until Mone on IR tested positive last week.
I wasn’t sure that playing football was going to happen in 2020 and I have to admit wasn’t sure it should. Even with the trepidation, football has been something I’ve looked forward to week to week. I had no idea how great that would feel during the pandemic. Still, I watch while hoping no one in the team or involved in the teams pays a terrible price for it. It’s a bit like watching gambling. 2020 football has been, well, pretty normal all things considered, and I’ve appreciated the bit of enjoyable normalcy and am grateful for it.”
Derek, Los Angeles Rams fan, is like many of us… just glad there was football at all.
“What has gone well? The answer to that is football. There was a time this summer where there were no sports at all.
For the Rams, our fans are happy rookie defense coordinator Brandon Staley has been an absolute stud. Plus, our RB by committee approach is producing far better than Gurley would have.
But let’s be honest, NFL players and employees are real people. The outbreaks have been bad but fortunately (knock on wood) we haven’t seen the worst that could happen. There have been cases. Games have been rescheduled. As a fan, this past week we had Sun, Mon, Tues, and Thurs NFL football. Yet as people we haven’t had to deal with a worst-case scenario.”
I think, all in all, most fans are just thrilled there were games to be watched. Mostly on TV, but a few lucky fans got to see the games in person. Those things alone are something to be impressed with since so much was in question just 6 months ago.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG