Memphis football debuts 'masked kiss cam' at season-opening game

Only about 4,000 fans were allowed to watch in-person at the Memphis stadium that usually seats 58,000 people

The University of Memphis in Tennessee debuted a “masked kiss cam” at its season-opening football game on Saturday to create some modest fanfare during the coronavirus pandemic.

About 4,000 people attended in-person at the 58,000-seat Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium to watch the Tigers’ opening season game. Masks were required and social distancing was implemented for the limited ticketholders, with only four gates open to welcome guests.

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Video recorded by Local 24 sports reporter Clayton Collier showed the jumbotron during the “Masked Kiss Cam” segment sponsored by Campbell Clinic. Fans sat next to one another were featured on the screen and then, with their masks remaining over the mouths and noses, embraced for a “kiss.”

“Memphis Football's 'masked kiss cam' is peak 2020,” Sports Center wrote, retweeting the video. It has since gone viral, with more than 256,000 views on Twitter by Sunday.

A general view of the exterior of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium after a game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Memphis Tigers on September 7, 2013 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

A general view of the exterior of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium after a game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Memphis Tigers on September 7, 2013 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

The Memphis Tigers defeated the Arkansas State Red Wolves in a 37-24 victory Saturday.

“What a win. I’m proud of the way the guys responded with everything that occurred. Obviously, it’s been a crazy few months, but, at the end of the day, we found a way to win against a great opponent,” Coach Ryan Silverfield said in a post-game interview.

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The team made national headlines last week when Memphis redshirt sophomore Kenneth Gainwell decided to opt-out of the 2020 college football season after several of his family members reportedly died from COVID-19.