Playing In An Empty Stadium - Trey Burton

Playing an NFL game without an audience is one of the weirdest sensations I’ve experienced in my career. Some of the stadiums allow for a few thousand fans to be present, but even then, the atmosphere is very different from a regular game. 

Throughout my career I’ve been trained to make my body and mind feed off of the external energy on a game day. When people are screaming at you — whether they are trash-talking you or cheering you on — you use that as motivation to play hard. Without the external noise and energy from fans in the stadium, you have to create the energy yourself in order to really thrive on the field. You need to be self-motivated and figure out a way to kickstart yourself into high gear.

In many ways, we have to rely on our team leaders to create the hype and energy for our team, and to continue to carry the momentum through a game. Thankfully, when you have such great leaders on your team like we do here in Indy, that’s easy to do. So we practice like we play a game. There’s always a lot of energy, trash talking, yelling and celebrating on our field, whether we’re competing against another team or each other. 

The purpose and mission of playing a game doesn’t change with or without an audience. Neither does anything else I do in this life. The reason why I play isn’t dependent on who is watching or how many people are in the stands. Playing with or without fans may change the feel of the game, but in the end, it’s irrelevant. As a Christ-follower, I put my best foot out there every day because I play for an audience of One. I want to bring glory and honor to Christ every time I step on the field. 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” — Colossians 3:23-24

— Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts tight end

Trey Burton is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Trey’s Increase profile here.

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