Bumped. Great notes. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
As you can see, I put the word 'showcase' in quotation marks. I did this simply because there was less 'show' than I would have liked. Case in point, I was talking to '66 by phone after the
scrimmage and he asked how we looked. I honestly couldn't answer that question. Last year, after the Spring Scrimmage, I was really excited about Steven Manfro after he broke off some long returns, runs and catches. I was really excited to see how the defense was flying all over the field. This year, there was just not as much to get excited about.
Before I am crucified for writing this, please understand, I am aware the coaches had decided to limit the amount of plays due to a number of injuries, and the desire to keep our guys from racking up anymore injuries. That being said, let's take a look at what went right, and what went wrong.
Watching a practice was boring. Sorry; it was. Pride Alley was great, especially when the quarterbacks went in against each other. But the lack of hitting and anything that even resembled competition was really boring. It's great at Spaulding, because you are right there, and you can hear the players plus feel the hits. Up in the stands, not so much. If you are concerned about injuries, take the pads off, split the guys up, and play a game of flag football. There would be offense and defense, and more importantly, something to cheer about.
Kill the music. Seriously. They piped in some Rap music. Now, understand, I have no problems with rap, as I suspect Fox and others might. But, it was really distracting. The whole time they were pumping in music it created this sense that practice had not started yet. You know how when you are in a theater, waiting for the movie to start, and the lights are up, and they are project silly movie trivia, or worse, commercials? That's what this felt like.
Even when they were running plays, the music would dip so the announcer could say something like "Millweard connects for a 20 yard pass" then the music would come right back up. It really took away from the ambiance of being at a a sporting event.
Also, the music really killed any attempts at leading cheers. Mora asked us to chant, "Go, Pack, go! when Datone was announced. And a section of people to our right did so, but honestly, even sitting near them, I could barely hear them. Another thing, the sound system overwhelmed the speakers the yell leaders used to get us to do 8 claps. So, again, to belabor the point, KILL THE MUSIC.
My God; the sun! As Beer and Math stated, for the love of God; put us in the shade next year! Sitting outside the stadium, tailgating was not bad, an occasional breeze drifted through and it was a balmy, So Cal spring day. Put us in the stands, sitting close to one another, with the sun beating down on you; and it becomes torture. Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure the sun killed a lot of fan enthusiasm as well. We'll probably get more boisterous, when we are not fight to stay alive.
Minor quibble here, but still; Why not use the crowd to create the noise? At Spaulding, they use piped in crowd noise during certain drills. Why not get the fans involved with a simple announcement: "We are going to simulate some late game situations like 3rd and long and we need you to create they kind of noise we'll need later in the season when the game is on the line." "Please stand up and yell until they hear you in Westwood." You would create fan involvement, plus instill the kind of expectations we have for our fans. I can't imagine they would do this for hours on end any way. 15 minutes of this should be a lot of fun for both the fans and the players. More on this later.
Please fire Dan Guerrero, just saying.
6) Get an MC. (HT to U.C.L.A.'94) More importantly, get an event coordinator. Someone who can work a crowd. Someone who is listening to mic'd up coaches, and can get everybody in the stands on the same page with everybody on the field. See previous mention of using an actual crowd instead of piped in crowd noise. With all the recruits in attendance, how hard would it be do the following: "Ladies and gentlemen, we have some very special guests with us here today. These young men will soon be choosing where they will go to play Division 1 Football, so please, get on your feet and give them a warm Bruin Welcome. At which point, the sound system is handed off to the yell leaders, and they get the crowd to take part in a #boom chant followed by an #8clap.
Remember: Spring Scrimmage (and so many other things) is too important to leave in the hands of the Morgan Center frauds.