Football makes its return to TV


Anay Rojra | Chief Photographer

UNA Lions warming up before a home game at Braly Municipal Stadium. The Lions are preparing to join the world of football Oct. 3 against Liberty.

Chase Glover, Managing Editor

The football landscape has finally made its way back onto our home television sets. The opening weekend of NFL games and full slate of college football, brings a normalcy back into the lives of fans.

However, fans did not see normalcy throughout games as many games ended up not being as close as they should have been. The scores of some games were very lopsided that it left fans wondering what teams have been doing leading up to their first game.

In both leagues, there were many scores that did not make sense, some being the Ravens and Browns which led to the Ravens winning 38 to 6. 

Others around the NFL that came by surprise were the Buccaneers, who lost to the Saints 34-23 in Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay debut. The Cardinals came up big against the 49ers in a 24 to 20 win that had Deandre Hopkins totaling 151 yards through the air.

The Bears also came up big on a goal line stance that put them in the winners column with a 27-23 win over the Lions. The new team for Washington ‘The Football Team’ grabbed three turnovers from the Eagles and Carson Wentz to grab a 27-17.

Things do look different for football this year as coaches have to wear face masks to help keep the COVID-19 outbreak at bay. Even though football is back during the pandemic, there are a lot of changes that are in place to help the health and safety of every player.

One of the most prominent watches from all the NFL games that wore a mask covering, was Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs won their opening game after a run to the Super Bowl that ended in a win.

Kansas City beat the Texans 34 to 20 in their season opener. The Texans opened the game with a 7-0 lead before allowing the Chiefs to score 31 unanswered points but at the end of the day it was Andy Reid and his facemask that fans were talking about.

Reid wore a face mask shield, that at times, fogged up too much to even see his play calls. Having to constantly wipe it off during the game so he could see his playbook, made for a troubling night on the sidelines for Reid.

“That was brutal,’ Reid said on WPVI-TV. “I didn’t do very good with that thing, but listen, it will get better next time.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of other troubles for teams and how they perform in games or even practice throughout the week. 

College football also had its own share of lopsided games and unforeseeable outcomes that fans were left mind-boggled at afterwards.

LA-Lafayette upset the Cyclones from Iowa State on the road with a 31-14 upset, while Arkansas State beat Kansas State as well with a 35-31 win.

Texas State lost in overtime to UTSA after a botched extra point in the final few seconds that left them with an unsatisfactory 51-48 loss. UAB also stayed in most of the game with Miami before the final quarter boosted the Hurricanes to a 31 to 14 win.

Some that are not considered upsets, but in a fans mind may be an upset, is Coastal Carolina beating Kansas 38 to 23. While Campbell kept it close with Georgia Southern before the final buzzer sounded leaving the Camels with a 27 to 26 loss.

The biggest of the college football landscape was the BYU and Navy game. Navy, who finished last season 11-2, while BYU ended with a 7-6 record a season ago left fans perplexed. BYU ran the ball extremely well which boosted them to the win over the Midshipman.

However, a BYU win was not the extremity as the Cougars only allowed the Midshipman to amass three total points while the Cougars put up 55. BYU finished the game with a 55-3 win over the Midshipman, mainly from very poor tackling from Navy’s side of the field.

In the wake of the pandemic, the Midshipmans head football coach Ken Niumatalolo led that during the offseason he was doing whatever it took to keep his players safe and contained from the Coronavirus.

“You ever see us play like that before? You hope that it doesn’t turn out like that, but there was a lot of concern,” Niumatalolo said per ESPN. “The last time we tackled anybody was the bowl game, nine months ago. I made a decision on the safety side of it, and we weren’t prepared.”

Niumatalolo mentioned they had not been tackling during the offseason to help prevent an outbreak throughout his team. It was shown with poor tackling against the Cougars who racked up 301 yards on the ground and another 279 through the air. 

Many teams may have gone this same route as some lost or did not meet the expectations of the hype that led up to their first game of the season. 

Nevertheless, football as a whole is officially back on the big screens for all fans to enjoy and watch yet again. Hopefully this time, fans do not take sports for granted, seeing that they can be taken away at any point like they were last year.