Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — Syracuse University football is known for its die-hard fans and crowds of supporters who travel to watch games in person. But since the coronavirus pandemic, the school had to limit game day attendance due to safety protocols.
This new normal has had an impact on fans and the institution. However, as the first home game commenced on Sept. 26, we’re reminded that the players on the field were and are continuously affected.
“Before a game, you could not be mentally ready,” said Syracuse University football player Caleb Okechukwu. “But when you see the crowd you realize, ‘I need to play well because all these people paid money to come see us play, so I need to perform.’ So it’s like without the fans, it gives you that feeling like, ‘why are we even playing.’”
In July, Governor Cuomo of New York issued an order to ban hosting fans at sporting events. Cuomo gave no time frame as to when the order will end or when things can resume to normalcy.
“The school, at this point, has no say on when we’ll be allowing fans back into the Dome” said the Executive Assistant to the Athletic Director Mary Kelly. It’s all up to New York State, we’re just waiting to hear something just like everyone else.”
The longevity of the order is unforeseen as the season continues, however playing and winning for the fans watching at home is still number one priority.