Inflatable Spectators

Sat in the airport waiting room in front of a TV that’s showing Australian women’s cricket. Judging by all the empty seats around the stadium there are probably more people watching it here in the airport than live and direct.

Seems a pity that sportspeople should put in all that effort for such little support, so here’s my idea: blow-up fans.

This could work for any spectator sport but I’m thinking of English football where the crowds are very often less than the stadium’s capacity; particularly if it’s a mid-table clash on a dreary Tuesday evening in the depths of winter.

Here’s how it would work: if there is no-one sitting in a space at kick-off, a hatch opens in the base of the seat, an air-pump kicks into life and inflates a life-size football fan, complete with scarf and shirt in the appropriate colours.

And here’s the clever part: each fake fan is fitted with a feedback mechanism. Microphones picks up the sound of the crowd and AI filters that noise for chants and songs. If something appropriate is detected, individual speakers mounted in the head of each rubber doll play back that chant in complete harmony with the crowd.

This, if course would lift the team on the pitch and they would respond by scoring more goals and winning a greater number of matches.

What do you think; is this the future of spectator sport? Mindless dummies in every seat singing their cold hearts out for something that ultimately means nothing to them?

Answers on a postcard to the usual address (the comment box below) please.

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