By Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka
dangolka (CBS) — Right here within the fifth month of a full-blown pandemic in america, we live in unusual, unusual occasions. The strangest occasions, certainly.
And for some motive, some decision-makers over at Fox Sports activities determined that with a view to offset among the weirdness and uncertainty led to by baseball video games being performed in empty stadiums, the community might be inserting “digital followers” into the stands at MLB video games this season.
Pc-generated followers that boo and cheer for the house crew? Certainly, that’s not unusual in any respect. What a quaint reminder of how regular issues are!
See for your self:
No followers? Not on FOX Sports activities.
1000’s of digital followers will attend FOX’s MLB video games this Saturday. pic.twitter.com/z9oQU0rYuC
— FOX Sports activities (@FOXSports) July 23, 2020
Fox has lengthy been an innovator of reside sports activities shows, so it’s not fully stunning that they’re aiming to revolutionize this distinctive second in sports activities historical past. On the identical time, people who dabble in studying dystopian novels set within the robot-controlled future may see this specific revolution as a bit unsettling. Or the creepiest development within the historical past of reside broadcasting. Or someplace in between. However undoubtedly someplace on that scale.
For Fox, some improvements — just like the hiring of an NFL guidelines knowledgeable, or added digicam angles, or an early adaption to high-definition broadcasts — have been industry-shaping. Others — just like the glowing puck — have been panned by critics and viewers and thus fizzled out rapidly. The place the insertion of baseball-enthused droids will land on that scale is but to be decided. We’ll see the way it goes.
Clearly, the community felt like baseball video games in empty, cavernous ballparks didn’t really feel pure — and few would disagree. It’s simply that … including robotic “followers” to make issues extra pure looks like a case of fixing one downside by creating one other.
You possibly can e mail Michael Hurley or discover him on Twitter @michaelFhurley..