Former Chargers running back Melvin Gordon said playing in front of no fans is no big deal.
The National Football League is going to have make some difficult decisions in terms of potential playing conditions that could make things awkward for the league.
With safety measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, large-scale gatherings are currently off the table all around the world. Every major sport is dealing with the same concerns, wondering how to account for the presence of fans at games (or not) while providing a solid product for television as well. Ideas at this point range from limiting crowds at games (or keeping fans away completely) to pumping in artificial crowd noise.
If this sounds awkward for everyone involved, it is. However, for some players, the idea of playing in front of empty (or near-empty) stadiums isn’t such a stretch. Melvin Gordon owned that fact in a recent interview with Marcus Cromartie for his “Chat with Cro” program.
“Could you imagine playing in a football game with no fans or there being crowd noise pumped into the stadium?” Cromartie asked.
“Bro, we didn’t have fans anyway,” responded Gordon with a laugh. “We didn’t have many Charger fans. I’m gonna be honest, we didn’t have many Charger fans at the game … so I’m not missing anything.”
Gordon knows well the intensity of AFC West rivalries and he seems intent on stoking the fires now that he’s a member of the Denver Broncos. John Elway signed Gordon to a decent-sized contract this offseason as a tandem partner with Phillip Lindsay. Now Gordon is ready to apparently be quite honest about his tenure in San Diego, a frustrating stint for the former first-rounder.
It’s no secret the Chargers lack a loyal, passionate fan base. Games are often overrun by the rabid fans of opposing teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs who often turn the Chargers home stadiums to a version of Arrowhead West. Gordon is only saying out loud what we’ve known for so long. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a talking point when the teams match up during the regular season.