Just when I thought I had seen it all in this hellscape of a year, 2020 surprises me with something new. Cardboard cutouts of humans are set up in the stands of football and baseball games to mimic crowds. It’s all very dystopian, dark, and oh-so-2020. What’s worse is when you couple it with an apocalyptic orange sky, because a pandemic by itself just isn’t enough for humanity to deal with right now. We’ve got to add out-of-control historic fires to the mix too, because why not?
One of the first tweets to point out how dark this whole cardboard cutout thing is was from Marshall Ferguson. In a now-viral tweet, he wrote: “I’d like to nominate cardboard humans watching baseball in a dystopian hell scape for photo of the year, thanks.” (The tweet’s not embedding, but you can see it here.)
He’s not wrong.
Of course, more people took that tweet and ran with it. We’re all in this together and such.
Brooks wrote: “Nothing quite sums up 2020 more than cardboard cutouts of real people watching baseball as the sky above them burns red from uncontrollable wildfires while a pandemic ravages the country. I always wanted to ‘be a part of history’ like I read in textbooks. Well. Here we are.”
Nothing quite sums up 2020 more than cardboard cutouts of real people watching baseball as the sky above them burns red from uncontrollable wildfires while a pandemic ravages the country.
I always wanted to “be a part of history” like I read in textbooks. Well. Here we are. https://t.co/A8IeS0OoK1
— maybe: brooks (@brooksdbrewer) September 11, 2020
It’s very unsettling when the entire western side of the United States has a sky that looks red or orange like Mars.
Cardboard cutouts watching baseball on the planet Mars. 2020. pic.twitter.com/ajkydvaKSK
— John Ellis (@OnePantherPlace) September 11, 2020
Did you have cardboard cutouts on your apocalypse bingo? Angel Garcia worded it perfectly, tweeting: “Who had cardboard cutouts of human beings watching baseball games with toxic hellfire dystopian skylines for the month of September on their 2020 Bingo card? Anyone?”
Who had cardboard cutouts of human beings watching baseball games with toxic hellfire dystopian skylines for the month of September on their 2020 Bingo card? Anyone? #ThisIs2020 #WildFires #Baseball #Smoke pic.twitter.com/QF3WuvQQRZ
— Angel Garcia (@AngelGarcia77) September 12, 2020
Some cardboard cutouts just want to see the world burn.
Cardboard cutouts watching a baseball game while the world burns around them is sooooo 2020 pic.twitter.com/9WusvCL96D
— Albert MacGloan ➐ (@AlbertMacGloan) September 11, 2020
Here’s the thing… This isn’t the only game using cardboard cutouts to mimic the crowd. I mean, it’s so weird. We’re technologically advanced and all that. Why do we need cardboard cutouts to help us pretend more people are in the crowd than are really there?
I watched the Longhorns football game live this weekend. The stadium was full of cardboard cutouts. 🙄 They’re not fooling anyone. 😄 The Longhorns won against UTEP 59 to 3. I actually felt sorry for UTEP. I mean, you’re playing football during a pandemic to a crowd composed mostly of cardboard cutouts and you lose 59 to 3. That just makes for a miserable night in 2020. But at least in Texas, the sky isn’t on fire and ash isn’t raining from the clouds. So there’s that.
Here’s a Facebook post from someone else about the Longhorns cutouts, because I was too busy just being confused by 2020 in general to take a screenshot myself.
This is our life now.
But the thing is, this isn’t new. A bunch of people were laughing at Korean baseball back in May for putting cardboard cutouts in their stands during baseball games. Little did we know that we’d end up doing the same thing. And isn’t that the mantra for 2020? “Little did we know… Three months later…”
Taking a break from work and watching Korean Baseball with cardboard cutouts of fans sitting behind home plate. pic.twitter.com/WkHw7j8dfB
— Michael Kronenberg (@MWKronenberg) May 25, 2020
During the Longhorns game, the announcers spent a lot of time assuring us that they weren’t enhancing the crowd sounds and everything we were hearing was authentic, as if that’s something I’m hugely concerned about in 2020, but OK.
So yeah, cardboard cutouts are part of our lives now. As are red-orange skies, the pandemic, and feeling a little bit scared every time I cough. (Seriously, I miss the days when I could cough with abandon.)
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