CPP community reacts to Super Bowl amid pandemic

By Allen Valdez, Feb. 2, 2021

The much-anticipated 2021 Super Bowl matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs will take place in Tampa, Florida on Feb. 7 with a limited attendance due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the NFL is limiting attendance to 20% of the stadium’s capacity, some students at CPP feel that having attendance at all is not the best idea at this time, given the state of the pandemic, especially in a state like Florida where the cases continue to rise, totaling 1.69 million cases and averaging 10,530 the past week.

Rohith Rajasekaran, a third-year computer engineering student, is skeptical about the NFL’s plans when it comes to attendance for the Super Bowl this year.

“To be on the safe side, I feel like it’ll be safer to reduce it a lot more to where 1,000 people show up and everyone else just watches at home,” Rajasekaran said.

The NFL has allowed fan attendance in stadiums this season for 13 out of 32 teams, the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Cincinatti Bengals to name a few. Tampa Bay has also allowed fans in the stands and will continue that going into the Super Bowl.

While there are precautionary measures and restrictions in place, like mandating masks and pods 6-feet apart for fans to sit in, fourth-year marketing student Alec Malloy still has concerns over how much of it is really being enforced.

“Obviously, they’re going to say that they’re going to require people to wear masks, but I don’t think they’re going to enforce it as heavily,” Malloy said. “People drink, people get rowdy and especially since it’s the first home team Super Bowl, there’s going to be some pretty rowdy Tampa Bay fans.”

Kimberly Cortez, a fourth-year accounting student, shared the same sentiment as Malloy regarding the enforcement of the restrictions.

“When you start drinking and get into the game, everything is lost and you’re just there to have fun obviously,” Cortez said. “You don’t think about like, ‘Oh I can get COVID or if I even have COVID and I can spread it to someone else.’ You don’t think about that because you’re just having fun.”

Malloy is keeping it simple this year when it comes to his plans for celebrating and watching the game.

“The whole playoffs, I’ve been going and watching it with one of my close friends at his house,” Malloy said. “Nothing too big, we don’t want to have a big party for the Super Bowl or anything because obviously it’s good to keep your circle small, not do anything too big and kind of limit the spread of COVID.”

Other students who aren’t as heavily invested in the NFL or the Super Bowl in general, have other plans for how they’re going to go about the game.

“I’ll probably watch it for a few minutes just to see some highlights and the halftime show,” Rajasekaran said.

The Super Bowl is famous for its star-studded halftime shows, headlined by The Weeknd this year, and over-the-top commercials. This year’s event will also, for the first time ever, feature a poet, Amanda Gorman, who recently recited a poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 and has since gained popularity for her work.

For more information regarding the Super Bowl event this year, you can visit: https://www.nfl.com/super-bowl/event-info/event-overview

Feature image courtesy of Andrew McElroy

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