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Friday Night Lite

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Apr 5, 2014.

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    By Stuart


    [h=3]Friday Night Lite[/h]The math is simple.
    Three years ago, the Pac-12 Conference signed a 12-year, $2.7 billion deal with ESPN and Fox Sports.
    In order for the networks to recoup their investment, games involving Pac-12 teams*can’t*all be played at 1:30 on Saturday afternoons. For the networks to show as many games – and as many commercials – as possible, Colorado and its Pac-12 partners will be playing on Thursdays, Fridays, early on Saturdays, late on Saturdays … pretty much anytime the television networks want them to play.
    And that’s just the conference games …
    For the University of Colorado, which doesn’t have a very (nationally) attractive non-conference schedule of games the next few seasons, the Rocky Mountain Showdown is an opportunity to bring in additional cash in exchange for moving the game away from Saturday afternoon.
    Last year, the CSU game was played on Sunday, kicking off at 4:00 p.m.
    Three years ago, the CSU game was played on Saturday, but with an 11:30 a.m. kickoff.
    The 2010*CSU game*kicked off at noon on a Saturday.
    This fall, the Rocky Mountain Showdown will be played on Friday night, kicking off the Labor Day weekend.
    Reactions to the move have been mixed.
    Pro
    - The move allows the Buffs the opportunity to open Fall Camp a day earlier, also giving Colorado an extra day to prepare for its cross-country trip to Boston to face Massachusetts the following weekend. “This is good for our program on many fronts,” CU athletic director Rick George said in the CU press release announcing the event. “We open the season on national television on a night where there’s very little competition, it’s a great start for our fans to the Labor Day Weekend as they can enjoy the full three days of the holiday, and the team will have an extra day of rest and preparation ahead of us making the longest road trip of the year when we travel to Foxboro the next week to play Massachusetts.”
    - The game gives Colorado some national exposure, when the program, mired in an eight-year streak of losing seasons, would not otherwise garner national coverage; and
    - At least the game isn’t being played on Sunday, with CU fans sitting around all weekend watching other games impatiently waiting for the Buffs to finally take the field.
    Con
    - Friday, while a getaway day before a three-day weekend, is still a workday. As a result, there will be a number of fans who will not be able to travel to the game because of work, and/or will have their pre-game activities curtailed due to the game being played on a Friday;
    - School will be in session that Friday, which could reduce the number of CU students willing/able to attend the game; and
    - Fans attending the game will have to deal with rush hour*traffic in Denver … on a weekday … on a getaway day … ’nuff said.

    If you ask my opinion, I’m excited about the move.
    Yes, it does affect my travel plans for the game, as I would normally come down Friday night for a Saturday afternoon game.
    Yes, it will likely affect pre-game tailgating, with less time – and fewer fans – available to gather for some pre-game cheer.
    But that is a small price to pay for all of the upside to having the game on Friday.
    If the game has to be moved*in order to maximize television dollars, I*would much rather see the game played on a Friday than on a Sunday.
    Sitting around all weekend waiting for the game to start is bad enough, but the lost day of practice for game two is not a factor to be overlooked. True enough, Colorado defeated Central Arkansas, 38-24, last fall after playing Colorado State on Sunday. But, if you will recall, the Buffs were behind the Bears, 31-24, early in the fourth quarter before rallying to score the last 21 points of the game.
    And then there was the debacle in Toledo.
    In 2009, the Buffs played Colorado State on a Sunday, then travelled to play the Toledo Rockets on a Friday night. It was bad enough that the Buffs lost to the Rams on Sunday, but then Colorado played perhaps one of the worst games I have ever attended, losing 54-38 in a game in which the Buffs trailed 23-3 at halftime, and 54-24 before posting two late consolation touchdowns.
    Never again … ever.
    Now, the argument can be made that the Buffs do not need an extra day of preparation for the Minutemen of UMass, a team which won only one game last season, and only one game the year before.
    But, the same argument could be made that the Buffs didn’t need extra time to take on 1-AA Central Arkansas or Toledo … but clearly they did.
    A night game is also preferable to a late morning game.
    Having a kickoff at 11:30 a.m. (2011) or at noon (2010) just doesn’t have the feel of a college football game. Tailgating in the morning is muted, and the crowd – which has been dropping with alarming consistently in recent years – arrives late.
    A night game (hopefully at 7:00 p.m., though the time for the game has not yet been announced) on an August night is preferable to a day game. Colorado State fans complain that having to sit in the east stands is uncomfortably hot in late summer games, so that excuse will not be available this August. A night game feels more intimate, which means that the crowd*will feel larger than in recent years (the crowd will likely again to be smaller than when the RMS was first played, but I’m predicting larger than the 59,601 who attended last fall).
    And, until further notice, Colorado needs as many television dollars as can possibly be generated.
    Will Colorado be able to pay down its debts faster with 50,000 in the stands at Folsom Field instead of 40,000?
    Undoubtedly.
    But, make no mistake, the University of Colorado – and most other schools – counts on television dollars to make ends meet.
    The Buffs are the designated home team for the 2014 Rocky Mountain Showdown, so Colorado has the most to gain from increased television revenue from this year’s game. Having a national television audience means more revenue for this non-conference game, and, with games against UMass and Hawai’i to follow, the Colorado State game, against a team which went 8-4 last season, presents the best chance for CU to attract a national television audience.
    True enough, the Rams built their record against a weak Mountain West Conference schedule (much more on that as the game approaches), but compared to one-win UMass and one-win Hawai’i, the game against the Rams is a veritable Super*Bowl.
    So, let’s celebrate the move to Friday, and*adjust our Labor*Day*weekend plans accordingly.
    The University of Colorado has an opportunity to start off*Year Two of the Mike MacIntyre era in front of a larger audience – both on television and in the stands – and needs our support to make it happen.
    We can then sit*back and enjoy the remaining games that weekend, seeing what teams will be able to match the Buffs’ 1-0 record!
    —–









    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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