The Texas Rangers decision to host a full crowd at Globe Life Field has been the talk of Major League Baseball to start the 2021 season. On Monday, the world finally got to see what that would look like.
Around 40,000 fans flooded into Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas for the Rangers game against the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this afternoon. The videos and images that emerged were jarring, considering it’s been over a year since a sporting event in the United States has taken place in front of a full stadium.
Most viewers were frustrated with the crowd on Monday, as many fans were without masks, which are no longer mandated in the state of Texas. However, not everyone interpreted the nearly 40,000 people in the ballpark as cause for concern.
ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit had a slightly different view of Monday’s crowd in Arlington. He called the scene at Globe Life Field “surreal” and saw it as “light at the end of the long dark tunnel.”
“Look at this crowd today in Arlington for the Rangers opener!!! Seems surreal to see this. This is the first big crowd I’ve since things shut down last year! Light at the end of the long dark tunnel,” Herbstreit tweeted on Monday.
Look at this crowd today in Arlington for the Rangers opener!!!
Seems surreal to see this.
This is the first big crowd I’ve since things shut down last year!
Light at the end of the long dark tunnel. https://t.co/ETI4TxADqV
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) April 5, 2021
Herbstreit’s tweet wasn’t ill-intentioned, but it also failed to acknowledge the gravity of the situation. Texas reported over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases just yesterday, on April 4, showing that the state, and the country, still has a long way to go in the fight against the virus.
Plenty of other sports personalities and even President Joe Biden were among the critics of the Rangers’ decision to host a full ballpark to start the season.
“Well, that’s a decision they made. I think it’s a mistake,” Biden said, in an interview with Sage Steele on ESPN. “They should listen to Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, the scientists and the experts. But I think it’s not responsible.”
The home crowd couldn’t help the Rangers in Monday’s game against Toronto. The Blue Jays, who are playing their home games in Florida because of COVID-19, won 6-2.