Written for The Argo by Eric Dahan
Despite the pandemic, Stockton sports have returned to play. Under normal circumstances, most athletes love a packed gym. Screaming fans, shaking bleachers, Talons dancing in the corner of the gym, and the announcers going wild after big plays. This season, there will be none of that. Athletes will play their games to empty bleachers.
Dan Berman, a senior broadcaster for the men and women’s basketball teams, has been in attendance for two games so far this season. As one of the very few people allowed into the gym for games, we spoke about what the new environment is like and if he feels that this is affecting the teams’ start to the season.
“The atmosphere has been very quiet. The biggest difference from this year to last year is you can hear what coaches and players say while the game is going on. Whether that is calling out plays, excitement, and even some trash talk,” said Berman. “In my point of view, yes. I think that the pandemic has led to our teams getting off to a rough start. It is definitely an adjustment. Our teams are affected, but with the right safety measures and protocols put into place, they are in a good position to succeed.”
When discussing the strange quietness of the games, Berman said, “I don’t like it quiet because it makes me force call plays. I am forcing my excitement instead of being able to embrace the atmosphere created by the fans.”
However, this does not mean that anyone thinks fans should rush back to the bleachers. “I think fans should be able to return under the correct circumstances. As long as everyone is spread apart and kept to a minimum,” said Berman.
With the vaccine being administered across the country, maybe we will be able to see fans and lovers of sports gradually return to the games soon. For now, the Argo would like to wish all of our athletic teams a safe and successful season.