NFL Success This Season Gives Hope for 2021 GDFL Return
The 2020 GDFL season, initially postponed until June, was ultimately canceled entirely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly a year later, the country remains in a serious health crisis, though thanks to the roll out of several vaccines, there is actually reason to believe that things will get better soon — to the point that all sports could return to normal.
But nothing at the moment is certain — not even the 2021 GDFL season. But in light of mass inoculation now starting, the chances of the GDFL’s return this season seem to be increasing. Judging by the relative success of the 2020−2021 NFL season, the hopes are actually high that the GDFL can replicate that same success, albeit on a smaller scale.
The 2020−2021 NFL regular season took place at the height of the pandemic, and unsurprisingly, the league was beset by a rash of COVID-19 related problems. Notably, coronavirus cases spiked among team personnel and players, with ESPN reporting about an outbreak of 56 positive tests involving 15 players and 41 staff members from November 1 to November 7 alone. Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, attributed the surge to the rising COVID-19 cases in the US during that time, and it led to postponing a few games.
Based on a list compiled by Sports Illustrated, a total of 18 games from Week 4 to Week 13 were rescheduled due to coronavirus-related reasons. Unsurprisingly, there were talks about continuing the NFL season in a bubble environment similar to the one the NBA used to finish its own season last year. The NFL decided against it, and instead chose to strengthen the league’s COVID-19 protocols and reinforce the safety standards already enforced. The NFL also chose to continue its season, and is now nearing the finish line — just as Commissioner Roger Goodell intended.
Indeed, the current NFL season has been unlike no other, with several players testing positive for COVID-19, a few games getting postponed, and fans not being allowed to the attend games. Despite these challenges, the NFL is now days away from holding its showcase game, the Super Bowl. As of this writing, only four teams are in contention for a shot at the Vince Lombardi Trophy, which might again be won by an AFC team.
According to an Bwin infographic on Super Bowl LV, five of the last six Super Bowls have been won by a team from the AFC, and that trend looks set to continue as the Green Bay Packers have looked dominant in this postseason. But no matter the winner, their championship will be the most special, as it was accomplished in a very trying time — something all GDFL teams would surely want to replicate should this coming 2021 season push through.
As the GDFL gears up for its return, it can look to the NFL for inspiration and guidance on how to navigate uncertain times full of unpredictable challenges. Such a development is certainly great news for the league's fans and its teams, including newcomers such as the Greensburg Golden Hawks, Steelcity Bobcats, Charleroi Sabre, Ohio Elite Outlaws, Shenango Valley Truth, East Penn Raiders, and Mile High Knights.
ABOUT THE GDFL
The Gridiron Developmental Football League is a Professional Developmental Football League based in Memphis, Tennessee. This League was established to provide the community with high quality sports entertainment and to provide athletes the opportunity to participate in professional sports. We are looking at partnering with national and local area businesses in our pursuit of excellence and commitment to our community. Our commitment, dedication, and vision are set on building a firm foundation for professionalism and quality. The Gridiron Developmental Football League continues to strive to provide a quality minor professional level of football throughout the United States and beyond giving area athletes and fans the opportunity be a part of history. Our organization would like to thank you for your support. We are excited about the upcoming season and look forward to “Making AN IMPACT” in our Community.
Fans can visit our website at www.gdfl.org for upcoming announcements, ticketing info, and player tryouts.
The GDFL Communications Office contributed to this article.