It is my first real week of summer. And yes, I am already bored. My general routine for curing boredom involves 1) indulging in crappy TV 2) attempting to repair my sleep debt (impossible) and 3) keeping up with my sports teams like no one’s business. Being that I’m not emotionally invested in basketball (read: I’ll-watch-it-but-eh), that leaves me Giant’s baseball and my football teams, the Niners and of course our Stanford football team.
Amidst my avid googling, I came across this SF Chronicle article. It notes that our first football game of the season (at home v. San Jose State) has been moved from Saturday, Sept. 1st to the night before at 7pm. That is right, ladies and gents, we will have a Friday season opener. While this may not be that significant in and of itself, I think it gives us Stanford fans something to think about.
While Friday home opener is a little disappointing, the change itself is not the most significant part of the story, especially since not many students will be able to attend anyway (you can count me there). It leaves me to question, how many more times/dates will be switched on us to satisfy the PAC-12 Network? Looking at other team’s schedules, we aren’t the only ones to have Friday night games (which I’m not that opposed to. High school anyone?), but some teams even have Thursday games scheduled.
With late Thursday classes and sections, I wonder, if we do have a home game yanked to a Thursday, how many people will we lose? How many season ticket holders won’t go because of work early the next morning? How many students will have a mandatory attendance section?
Our home game schedule already sucks, as noted by Kabir earlier this year (article here). We have only three home games while school is in session. USC happens before school starts. Big Game was moved to… OCTOBER. While I may be a tad (okay, REALLY) emotional about this since it will be my last football season as an undergrad, I still feel like any Stanford undergrad who attends home games probably feels like they got cheated…just a little bit.
The upswing to all of this, of course, is that every PAC-12 football game will be televised nation-wide, which is great for revenues and visibility and especially great for Stanford alums that live out of area. This is an amazing perk and will be great for the conference and for our school. I am personally hoping for a full season of hard-hitting football in which last year’s middling PAC-12 contenders really step up, and we give SEC fans something to think about.
Still is the weird schedule worth the perks? I, for one, am on the fence. Let me know what y’all think!