CFC Must Adjust to Empty Finley Stadium

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Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) The good news for the CFC. They finally play their first home game of the year on Saturday as they entertain the Georgia Revolution at eight o’clock.
The bad news. No fans will be allowed as a safety precaution for the coronavirus.

Normally we see sizable crowds for CFC home games, but Fort Finley will be empty on Saturday night. Makes you wonder why they were cleaning the seats Thursday. Not having the rollicking Chattahooligans will be a big loss for the boys in blue.

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Said head coach Peter Fuller: “Having that one bank of the ‘hooligans behind the visitors bench. That’s a 12th man right there.”

Said defender Richard Dixon: “Not having that will definitely change a little bit the intensity and stuff like that so yeah, we’ll have to bring our own individual energy.”

In Japan, a baseball team brought in robots for fans.

Reporter: “Would you like to see them do something funky here?”

Said Fuller: “My initial thought is no, but who knows. I mean necessity is the author of invention, so maybe we need to give something like that a try. I don’t know.”

With no fans in the stands, we should be able to hear a lot from the players and coaches since the match will be locally televised. That could be a blessing and a curse.

Said Dixon: “You know actually hearing the guys communicate and hear word-for-word what they are saying to one another. It takes a lot of communication to put a good, cohesive unit on the field and do things together, so I think the fans. That will be an educational part for the fans as well.”

Said Fuller: “We’ve already talked a little bit our language. Being on TV. Trying to make sure that we keep it G-rated.” (laughter)

Saturday’s match will definitely be unique.

Said Dixon: “Right now everything that we are going through is unprecedented. So everything we are doing now will go into the history books. That’s why it’s important for us as players to make sure that we represent the club well.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.