The Super Bowl had 25k people, with 1/3 vaccinated healthcare workers: ok or holy sh-t?

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I was shocked when I first saw the crowd at the Super Bowl last night. I tweeted about it and people told me the stadium was at a third capacity and that they had given away 7,500 tickets to vaccinated healthcare workers. When they showed shots of the crowds I saw that what I first assumed were people were just cardboard cutouts. It didn’t look as bad close up but the optics were still terrible. Many people weren’t wearing masks or had them down under their chin. It turned out that there were a total of 25,000 people there in a stadium with a capacity of 65,890. There were 22,000 fans (including the 7,500 healthcare workers) plus 3,000 “players, personnel and other NFL staff.” That makes thousands of people in a stadium during a pandemic that has us unable to have in person funerals or graduations. On one side at least they did something to limit capacity, on the other they still let people attend, only 1/3 were vaccinated that we know about, and they chose to make it look like the stadium was full, which was jarring. Here’s part of a writeup on this from Buzzfeed, which is kind of neutral:

A lot of people tuned into the Super Bowl on Sunday and freaked out at seeing a packed stadium — but on closer inspection, there are thousands more cardboard cutouts than people.

Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa is the smallest crowd in recent history, due to the dangers of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing…

However, the stadium still looks crowded because of 30,000 cardboard cutouts made to look like cheering fans are in the stands. A Super Bowl cutout cost $100, and also include a bunch of celebs, such as DJ Khaled and Lady Gaga.

Brian McCarthy, a spokesperson for the NFL, tweeted an explanation noting that the cutouts “provide physical distance btwn pods of fans & vaccinated health care workers.”

McCarthy also pointed out that they are quite a visual effect. “Place looked packed when I arrived at 8:30 a.m. today,” he said.

[From Buzzfeed]

Tickets were cheaper than usual, but still cost more than most of the cars I’ve owned. You could also pay $100 to get a cardboard cutout of yourself in the stands to watch the game. I don’t know what to say about this exactly because I’m kind of numb in general lately. Every time I go to a store I see some ugly a-hole’s unmasked face and it’s forever changed me. I’ll give a typical mom response. I’m disappointed, but not surprised. At all. They wanted to give a semblance of a full stadium and they did that by faking it and pushing the boundaries as much as they could. That’s capitalism.

They couldn’t even get all the people in this staged photo to wear masks:
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This is Suzie Dorner, a COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit nurse manager at Tampa General Hospital. She presided over the coin toss.
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55 Responses to “The Super Bowl had 25k people, with 1/3 vaccinated healthcare workers: ok or holy sh-t?”

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  1. DaffiestPlot says:

    Wonder if the inevitable spike will show in Covid stats in 2 weeks.

    • Ann says:

      The bulk of the outbreaks will be in Florida so we’ll probably never find out. DeSantis and all the GOP goons there will make sure of it.

      • Teresa says:

        Honestly good point. It seems from video that a good portion of Florida was pretty dgaf about the pandemic this entire last year. It’s probably a drop in the bucket to them.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        A friend in Florida told me the pandemic was all a hoax… last month.

        The vaccine protects you from severe symptoms. Not from spreading or getting sick. This is beyond irresponsible.

        Side note. Brady or not the Chiefs didn’t have a chance after their head coach injured that child in the DUI yesterday. So demoralizing.

      • josephine says:

        @ Wiglet – The head coach was not responsible for that accident – it was his son who was responsible. It was still a huge distraction, no doubt, but it was not Andy Reid at fault. And Patrick Mahomes was definitely injured. But the Bucs defense stepped up big, and I think that was most of it.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        The article on my Apple news feed definitely lead The reader to assume the head coach was the driver and admitted to having 2 to 3 alcoholic drinks with an adderall prescription.

        They were still hurting from the absence of their coach.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      Considering the throngs gathered out in bars and in the streets, undistanced, unmasked, you KNOW we will see a spike, and the death climb…and MUCH sooner, considering the newer mutated variant is there (and is at least 50% more contagious). Combine it with the fools who were drinking and shouting, and it is a veritable umbrella of aerosols floating through the air blanketing them all. And we don’t know YET if just being vaccinated will keep you from SPREADING the virus either.

      Now, I know there’s not 100% possibility everyone will get sick, but there’s a sure as hell HIGH PROBABILITY A LOT WILL get sick, and a good portion of those sick enough to have to go to the hospital. Now all those vaccinated will have the increased workload of tending to these morons.

    • lucy2 says:

      For sure. People still gathered to watch this. It’ll be another spike like the holidays, because people continue to be stupid and selfish.

      Even if they had people spaced out in the stands, all those people still had to file past the security check points, ticket scanners, etc.

      • Chaine says:

        Right. An acquaintance posted a photo of a dozen family members (three generations) gathering unmasked for their family super bowl party… and she is the HEAD OF NURSING at a nursing home…

      • Frida_K says:

        Yes, indeedy.

        I personally know one person who “went home for Christmas” (aka behaved stupidly). Of that household of eight, seven got sick. Four got what amounted to an unpleasant flu and the other two got very sick. One almost had to be hospitalized and now looks to be a long-hauler.

        I personally know another who “went home for Thanksgiving.” One of the family members died, another was in long-term care after being released from the hospital, and the person I know was sick for a few days, again, somewhat like a bad flu.

        I personally know another who went to a “small, ‘we’re all being careful’ wedding” and about 75% of the people who went got sick, so it was something like 20 people in that case. Fortunately, the person I know did not get infected.

        I personally know someone who went on a “necessary trip” and came back infected, only to sicken their whole household. There were some scary moments that involved wondering whether or not to call an ambulance in this case.

        I could go on and on but I’ll refrain. But my point is: I hear you, @lucy2. This sort of stuff makes me so angry. Why are these people so careless? And which of them will learn, to their dismay, that the virus could not care less about football? Who will pay the price for this?

        I’m so tired of staying home that it’s an effort not to cry when I think about how fed up with all of this I am. But we all just need to be patient, to wear our masks, and to stay home as much as possible. We all need to jump on the opportunity to be vaccinated when it’s our turn. We need to be safe and smart and patient.

        What else can we do? Crying isn’t going to help, nor is pretending like it’s going to go away like “Pouf!” one day.

  2. Gab says:

    I was really angry about this. My kid hasn’t been to school in nearly a year and this is fine for a football game???

    • Kate says:

      This is a complete joke! We are walking on eggshells here in Illinois.

    • FHMom says:

      You should have seen photos of the crowd partying outside the arena. Not a mask in sight. Really horrific.

    • Stacy Dresden says:

      “Anything” for sports

    • Betsy says:

      This is the first I’m seeing it (I don’t follow sports). This is incredibly, incredibly tone deaf and offensive. I see friends and family maybe once a month, masked, 12 feet apart and outside only. My kids haven’t been in a school building since last February.

      GFY sports people who partook in this. Just once I would like the spray of viral bullets to land on those who took the risks rather than the unlucky innocent who will catch it instead.

      • Grace says:

        @Gab me too! I am so angry. I’m a teacher, have an elderly mother, no spring chicken myself, and can’t (yet) get a vaccine. And all these yahoos running around in Tampa having a big-time makes me nuts!

  3. CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

    Ummm yeah not great. We’ve been in our house for a year to avoid spreading a horrible virus and they are capitalizing off of HCW who are now exposed to a ton of nonvaccinated nonmask wearing folks who they might be treating in the coming weeks or could still pass the virus to their family members, so that’s great.

    I really don’t understand how people are justifying this.

  4. Gil says:

    Is this some kind of human experiment? Where they trying to have a test for the vaccine efficiency? Like let’s gather vaccinated people with non-vaccinated people and see how many of them die? This feel really evil but I mean it’s Florida. Nothing shocking here

  5. Case says:

    Way, way too many people. Also couldn’t help but notice a lot of players (particularly on the Bucs side) weren’t wearing masks on the sidelines as they’re supposed to. We don’t have any room left for people to continue modeling crappy behavior. Stricter sideline rules and ONLY vaccinated healthcare workers in the stands would’ve sent a much better message.

  6. Rapunzel says:

    It’s like some folks have just given up. Which means the rest of us will be stuck home for a longer amount of time.

    I could not be angrier.

  7. Leah says:

    That’s still too many people. Because of the close physical contact, sweating and spitting that these guys do while they are playing it should have just been cancelled. Then there would have been no reason for any Super Bowl parties turning into covid parties where people eat and celebrate the game in close contact.

    They still think they can play games with this virus. I just have to shake my head in disbelief at the arrogance of some people. I don’t even get to enjoy the simple pleasure of rolling around my neighborhood on my scooter in the fresh air. I’m always in my apt, breathing in the AC air while my allergies go off the rails. You bet I’m angry at how some people are just keeping on like it’s 2019 with no consideration of anyone else.

  8. whateveryousay says:

    At this point our country has chosen death over cancelling sports or not allowing spectators in. SMH.

  9. Chelsea says:

    Im pretty sure fully vaccinated people can still spread covid even if they themselves cant get sick so this is really alarming. Also were they all from florida or from other states? I highly doubt those in the stands who were from out of state will properly quarantine for 2 weeks when they get back to their states and that the NFL will step in to pressure them to. Ugh

    • MissMarierose says:

      Yes, this was what was so disturbing to me. I read that vaccinated people still have to wear masks and be careful, because they can still spread it even if they can’t get sick from the virus.
      So, mixing the vaccinated health care workers with unvaccinated people is still highly dangerous.
      They’re going to expose patients.

  10. Lily P says:

    As an outsider looking in America just looks so selfish. Not just on its outlook and attitude internationally, but also to its own people. How can a football match be more important than someone’s life?

    • Anna says:

      This country is so selfish and always has been. That’s how it became a country in the first place. Self-absorbed, manifest destiny, rampant individualism, imperialism and colonialism under the guise of altruism, human rights abuser while pointing the finger everywhere else.

  11. Daisyfly says:

    It’s a holy shit for me. All those people without masks, Tom Brady defiantly not wearing one, the huge crowds of people outside the stadium…

    Florida is already a super spreader state. The numbers here are disastrous, and this just means things are going to get worse.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yeah I saw a photo of Brady walking in off the bus, no mask. Some media outlet said “what’s he listening to?” as in music, and a great reply was “Not the CDC, obviously.”

    • whatWHAT? says:

      TB probably thinks his diet will protect him. after all, he thinks drinking a lot of water means you don’t need to use sunscreen.

      dude knows football, REALLY WELL. but that’s all he knows.

  12. Jillian says:

    Jesus christ. I’m disgusted

    • Annabel says:

      Same. Every time I think I’ve reached bottom and I have no further capacity for disgust with the American people, my compatriots surprise me once again!

  13. HoofRat says:

    Saw this while stressing about whether or not I can safely get my hair cut before the new variants become widespread (I’m job hunting right now – thanks for the cutbacks, Jason Kennedy! – so I unfortunately I have to think about appearances): I am beyond disgusted, but not at all surprised. Apparently football’s worth dying for?

  14. Stacy Dresden says:

    I’m going with holy sht.

  15. Scal says:

    The ref who flipped the coin for the nurse wasn’t wearing a mask. Which great-we got to see him, but thanking health care responders in the same sentence was just not a good look.

    our neighbors had a big superbowl blowout (they are from kansas) Maybe 30-40 cars, people in the backyard people in the front yard. From what I heard they explained it to the HOA as being all outdoors but still. There were at least 100 people there. Sighn.

  16. ME says:

    All I saw were a bunch of chin maskers. Morons. The Superbowl didn’t need to happen this year. Let’s not forget about all the idiots that probably had Superbowl parties last night. This was not necessary !

  17. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    It was Superbowl weekend? Any good commercials?

  18. Nothankyou says:

    I live in Perth, Australia. We recently had one (1) case of covid from a security guard working in a hotel. Because of that one case, the government immediately put the city in lockdown. Closed schools, restaurants, shops, sporting events, stay home orders. There was minimal pushback from the public. After 5 days and zero community transmission, the lockdown ended. Everything is back open, the only restrictions are face masks for a week and social distancing. Most Australians cringe when we see things like this event happening in the U.S. Like how is the situation ever going to improve when crowds like this are even allowed? Especially when the covid stats in the U.S. are out of control. I thank god that our government took the pandemic seriously from day one.

    • ME says:

      And this is why Australia and New Zealand are living normal free lives right now. You guys listened and did the right thing. We are so jealous of you !

    • Anna says:

      Because money rules all in Amerikkka. End of story. Citizens and non-citizens alike who live and work here are just fodder for the money machine. Nothing stops it and this country does not care if a a few or a million fall to the virus. They’ll find robots or other ways to make up the difference economically and in terms of production.

  19. LillyfromLilooet says:

    My vote is fine.

    I think it is great that they gave free tickets to front line workers.

  20. Mireille says:

    Stupid people who don’t follow the rules is the reason why we can’t have nice things — or reopen the economy in America. I’m sorry it is utter bullsh*t that this was allowed to happen. And there were front line healthcare workers in the stadium seats who should know better. I understand that many of them were vaccinated, BUT was everyone in the entire stadium vaccinated?? NO. And even if you were vaccinated, you are still supposed to wear a mask and social distance. If everyone followed the rules, we could get the pandemic under control and reopen the country. And once the country reopens, I anticipate an economic boom. BUT none of that can happen if we can’t get idiotic yahoos to EVEN acknowledge that we are in a middle of a public health crisis and to do their part in stopping it…mainly mask up, social distance, don’t hang in groups, stay home, and only go out for essential needs (e.g. groceries, medicine, emergency visits to hospitals etc.)

  21. Traveler says:

    Definite “holy shit” for me – so unnecessary. Someone dying directly or indirectly for a football game is the level of selfish we are.

  22. Willow says:

    This is the priority. Not reopening schools. Not freeing everyone from their homes. Because making the almighty dollar is more important than getting the infection numbers down. So shortsighted. So selfish. There are so many examples of other countries who are functioning much better than us. How hard is it to just follow a successful example?

  23. Lady Keller says:

    This is a slap in the face to anyone who has been staying home and following recommendations. I know Florida is already f***ed, but many of these people are out of state? How many of these people are going to travel home to other states bringing their super bowl covid along with them. The optics are so bad.

  24. FancyPants says:

    I live in the Tampa area (for only 11 more days- whew), and one of the newscasters this morning said (roughly) “We’re awaiting word from the mayor’s office on what regulations we can expect for COVID safety for a Super Bowl parade, but we’ve already shown that it can be done safely.” Uhhhh NO WE HAVE NOT. It will be at least 2 weeks before we see how much damage we did!
    BTW I knew Tampa must have won when I woke up at 10:30 last night thinking I was simultaneously being shot and run over by a car because of all the horns honking and fireworks in my neighborhood.

  25. psl says:

    You know people had parties in every state for this. I expect a spike within 2 weeks.

  26. sassafras says:

    I have a quibble with the characterization of this as “capitalism.”

    The NFL is a NON PROFIT.

    They don’t have to make money off tickets for this event. They really, really, didn’t.

    Normally, I’m pretty forgiving about outdoor activities. My kids and my husband and myself pretty much have carte blanche to do whatever social events we need do outside. We mask up if we can’t social distance outside, but I feel like it’s a good balance of mental and physical health to keep those interactions up, given the low risks of outdoor transmission.

    And… if the NFL had just decided to hold the game I would have not been judgmental about that. Entire economies exist around professional sports and these people have the resources to form bubbles/ get tested, etc.

    BUT… the crowds PLUS all the stupid behavior that goes along with an event like this PLUS the harmful optics.

    Yeah, it was dangerous in more ways than one, IMO.

    • Anna says:

      Yup. A “non-profit”. The levels of b.s. never cease. In fact, you can get a job with NFL and use that to get credit toward student loan forgiveness but as a teacher, unless you hit a certain number of credit hours, it’s not possible. So I should ditch my contractor teaching gig and go work for the NFL to pay down my exorbitant student loans. At this point, everything’s up for grabs.

  27. Eenie Googles says:

    *blinks in Canadian*

    Wtf is going on down there?

  28. Justwastingtime says:

    On Sunday I left LA for the first time in 10 months and flew to visit my father with COVID in the ICU in SW Florida. I drove down to a hotel and got in late, I went to the bar to pick up food. There were 30 people in the small bar and the bartender and I were the only ones with masks on. I got into the elevator and someone got on without a mask. I stepped out and he looked at me, it was all I could do not to yell at him.

    I said earlier in the year that the governor of Florida was going to kill my parents and looks like it’s true for my dad (they both got covid 2 weeks before they were scheduled for the vax. from a young healthcare worker)

    I am flying back tomorrow as they won’t let us in to see my dad again.