The NFL is trying to figure out a way to safely play football amid the pandemic and though that's an impossible task they are giving an earnest effort to enact some best practices. Having as few people on the field as is absolutely necessary is at the heart of the new protocols sent out to teams today.
Cheerleaders and mascots? Forget about them. They will not be trodding on that sacred turf.
But surely the pregame reporters and sidelines reporters, whose live shots have bridged the gap from hangover to early-game kickoff on so many Sundays will be allowed, right? Not so fast. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero with a reality check:
There are few jobs in all of sports media as underappreciated as the sideline reporter. The gig is like an iceberg with 95 percent of the work under the surface and never given the chance to see air. There's a lot of improv when it comes to adapting and reacting and very little time to prepare for what could be limited hits.
So anything that's going to add to the degree of difficulty isn't great in that department. On the other hand, stadiums will be far quieter than normal this year meaning that reporters stationed slightly above field-level may be able to hear more than they could under normal circumstances.
At least this has been the hope in a few conversations with those who do the shoeleather reporting.
Another possible spin-zone here is that we'll potentially be privy to a wider array of backdrops for standups and in-game updates. It could be interesting to see production explore the space with some quirky angles and settings.