Yankees, Nationals Kneel During Anthem – Fox to Fill Empty Stadiums with CGI Fans

Didn’t they cancel baseball years ago, because everyone thought it was too boring?


When Major League Baseball kicks off its 2020 season, fans won’t be allowed to sit in many of the ballparks. Viewers who watch any of four games broadcast over Fox or Fox Sports 1 this Saturday may not notice.

The Fox Corporation-owned outlet intends to fill the seats of Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium, Nationals Park and Petco Park with hundreds of virtual attendees, and will do the same at all the ballparks from which it broadcasts games over the next several weeks. It’s part of the company’s effort to bring fans of the national pastime a game that looks and sounds like a traditional event, not one played in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.

“We had a vision for making our Major League Baseball broadcasts look as natural as they were before COVID,” says Brad Zager, executive producer  and executive vice president and head of production and operations for Fox Sports, in an interview. “A lot of that is having a crowd in the stadium.”

Using digital technology, Fox Sports will fill seats with dozens of digital doppelgangers, all of whom can make movements that emulate what a crowd might look like from afar. The attendees can be tailored for each venue. Fox can change the colors of clothes, so a particular stadium might appear to be filled with home-team fans. Producers can have sections of the ersatz assemblage do a wave, says Zager, and can even remove crowd members if need be. “If it’s an 8-to-1 game, the crowd can be thinned out,” late in the game, he explains.

Wow – these guys are really getting into the dystopia, to the point where they can’t even tell they’re doing it. I could see myself putting fake fans in my game, but I wouldn’t want to admit I was doing it. It seems very wrong.

Then again, so does kneeling for a drug-addicted multiple felon who pointed a gun at a pregnant woman, and they’re doing that. Even though no one is watching, we all sort of know that this used to be the American sport, before it was replaced with football, and long before football was replaced with MMA and E-Sports.

It’s like desecrating a grave.

And that’s why they had to do this to it, isn’t it? All the monuments must be torn down, and this extremely slow and boring game is no exception.

If anyone could go anywhere, I would tell you to take your family to the circus instead of this or the cinema. But, with the way things are now, I guess no one is going anywhere, ever again.