Yes, I think there will be some form of football this fall — the NFL and most colleges and certainly high schools.

Maybe Canada, too.

You can quote me.

This is not inside information. I don't know anymore than anybody else does at this point, and a lot can happen between now and Labor Day.

But just a hunch. Let there be football.

The nation demands it. The South can't function without it.

So, somehow, someway, it will get done.

In all likelihood it will be somewhat different than what you saw last fall.

It may be sloppy.

It could be strange.

Mainly, it's becoming more and more obvious that there's a good chance that it will come in front of limited audiences or maybe even no fans at all.

Some are aghast at this possibility. That's their right. It's a free country.

I say that would be better than nothing.

And you'll take what you can get at this point.

At LSU, for instance, would tailgating still be allowed, so long as it followed some degree of social distancing? Could fans stay in parking lots with those portable hi-def flat screens to watch the games?

We would, of course, be totally dependent on TV, a scary proposition at best.

Made for TV — like a bad movie gone straight to video.

I mean, what could go wrong?

Plenty. But you'll take it and watch it if it's all you've got.

Personally, I think TV should take what it gets, too. If there are no fans, a silent stadium, then take that novelty of the "new normal" and run with it.

Of course, that's not likely to happen.

TV always wants total control, can't keep its fingers off anything.

It's why "reality TV," which wasn't an awful idea in its infancy, is so excruciatingly bad now that they've had time to mess with it and perfect it.

So we can only hope for the best with this latest development.

Speaking on HBO's "Real Sports," Fox announcer Joe Buck said TV will have an answer in case they're presented with empty and silent stadiums.

He predicts the networks will have to pipe some crowd noise into the broadcasts, possibly even come up with virtual fans for the cameras to scan between plays.

"In fact I know they'll do it," Buck said.

It kind of makes sense.

A little fabricated atmosphere, perhaps.

I seem to have read where some arenas are thinking about installing cutouts of fans in empty seats.

If it's the virtual student section behind the home bench at Florida's Ben Hill-Griffin Stadium, will they be in various stages of undress?

Why not use some of that Disney World magic and pump in the sweet aroma of bourbon that visiting players always talk about when visiting LSU?

But I would wonder how'd they'd regulate the crowd reactions.

Will every game be like Texas-Oklahoma, with a 50-50 fan split, so every play gets the approval of somebody?

Will the home crowd get the edge on the "noise?"

And, if so, how much?

Crowd noise at Auburn is a lot different than the occasional crowd murmur at Vanderbilt.

Will they work out the differences in their productions meetings?

Who decides if a ref's call against the home team is egregious enough to cue up the 20-minute deafening boos.

Also, home coaches get booed all the time. Who will have taken the pulse of the town to make that call?

For that matter, will the faux student section at LSU be singing "Neck" with all the naughty words?

Or "Dixieland Delight" at Alabama?

I don't even want to know what electronically engineered cowbell-clanging would sound like at Mississippi State.

It has potential.

I just don't trust TV.

Sure as you've got an exciting, back-and-forth shootout going, they'll be inserting a shot of a Wimbledon tennis crowd with heads going back and forth trying to keep up.

The magic of Hollywood unleashed.

I do have one suggestion, though.

If you really want to jazz it up, then home stadiums should be equipped with one of those TV sitcom laugh tracks to unleash once per quarter at a particularly slapstick move by a hapless opponent.


Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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