When it comes to mask mandates, nothing says baloney louder than the National Football League.

Consider the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers played two weeks ago at SoFI Stadium in Los Angeles.

According to the rules of the city and the state there, everyone attending the game was required to wear a face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When you entered the stadium you were given a N-95 mask and told you had to wear it at all times except for when you were eating or drinking.

If you had to be told twice by stadium staff, you were subject to a $250 fine. If you saw the game, you quickly noticed that few fans wore masks. They screamed and yelled for their fave team at the top of their lungs. Some people had masks in their hands or draped over one ear. But, based on my observation, no more than one out of 10 fans actually wore masks properly.

To make matters worse, the mayor of Los Angeles and the governor of California attended the game in a suite with sports star Magic Johnson, who tweeted selfies of himself with the politicos. Even the California rule makers flaunted the mask rules.

Asked about it after the game, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he broke the rules only momentarily as a courtesy to Magic Johnson. Mayor Eric Garcetti offered an even more ridiculous explanation. He told reporters that there was zero percent chance that he contributed to the potential spread of COVID-19 because … wait for it … he held his breath for the selfie.

I am not making that up.

California officials danced a jig trying to explain this behavior and, as of this writing, the silly rules will still be in place for the Super Bowl.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said despite the mass failure to wear masks at the game, transmission is just too damn high in the county to relax the mask mandate for the Super Bowl.

A TV reporter asked how those California mask rules even remotely made sense when millions of people have attended NFL games this year, including in places without strict mask rules, without a single mass spreading event. Ferrer hemmed and hawed without giving a direct answer.

That’s because there is no good answer. Mask mandates are on their face (pardon the pun) ridiculous at this point.

And everybody knows it.


  • Someone asked me what I do with leftover bacon. Is there really such a thing as “leftover bacon?”
  •  What was the goal of the detective duck? To quack the case, of course.
  • A police officer knocked on my door and said my dogs were chasing people on bikes. I looked at him and said, “don’t be ridiculous, my dogs don’t even own bikes”.
  • As a kid my bedtime was 9 p.m. I couldn’t wait to grow up and go to bed whenever I wanted. Turns out my bedtime was, in fact, 9 p.m.
  • A Mexican magician told his audience he would disappear on the count of three. He wrapped his cape around himself and began to count. “Uno… Dos…” and then POOF, he disappeared without a Tres.

Thanks for reading, everybody. Until next week, dear readers, avoid soreheads, laugh a little and always question authority.

(Sherman Frederick is a Nevada Hall of Fame journalist and co-founder of Battle Born Media, a news organization dedicated to the preservation of community newspapers. You can reach him by email at shermfrederick@gmail.com.)