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Football’s Boo Birds Are All Cooped Up

  • October 18, 2020

Football fans are not alone in being denied vocal vengeance. With Major League Baseball banning all fans from stadiums in the regular season, the Houston Astros avoided blowback after they were caught in one of the sport’s worst cheating scandals (though a man with a megaphone scolded them from an apartment balcony overlooking the stadium at a recent playoff game in San Diego).

“Any time someone’s in the wrong in sports this year, there’s never going to be a real penalty from the public spotlight perspective,” said Greg Stengel, 25, a Jets season-ticket holder from Morristown, N.J. “If Jets games were happening right now, it would be a clown show.”

As Stengel well knows, Jets games are, indeed, happening. Their performance in the home opener, a 31-13 loss to San Francisco that fell on the second day of Rosh Hashana, prompted Stengel, who watched while observing the holiday with his family, to bemoan, “What a great way to ring in the New Year, right?”

Among the regrettable moments that afternoon, one in particular irked Kanevsky: With the Jets trailing, 24-3, late in the third quarter, Gase, the coach, played it safe on fourth down, choosing to attempt a short field goal rather than try for a touchdown. The kick was good, and when the fake crowd cheered the meager three points, Kanevsky felt like throwing his television out the window because, he said, really, what else could he have done?

“It’s not like I’m going to sit in my living room and boo,” he said.

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