Bumped. -BN Eds.
Today's SF Chronicle contains a collection of Cal/Stanford/SJSU fans lamenting the devolution of College Football Saturday afternoons into unpredictable and fan unfriendly TBAs. I can remember (not that long ago) that the Bruins would have a 12:30 or 3:30 start with an occasional dreaded 7pm night game. Sadly, those days are gone and exist only as a fond memory. Now, 7pm is more and more frequent and advance planning for attendance with family, friends and fellow fans at the Rose Bowl is impossible. But aside from our inconvenience will it be the cause of erosion in the Bruin base?
The Chronicle piece notes that some fans are unhappy for their own experience as well as fearing the demise of their programs. For example Dave Bush a Cal grad and former Chronicle writer is quoted as saying:
"It will be interesting to see in five or 10 years who is actually attending the games. Today's students are less likely to turn into loyal alums, and I know a lot of Bear Backers who won't attend the opener (7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 against Northwestern) because they don't want to get home after midnight."
Of course, Cal and Stanford have on campus stadiums so students and fans residing near campus can attend if they want to. The Bruins play in a facility that is not on or even near the campus or Westwood. How many UCLA students will go the Rose Bowl on August 31 at 7pm to see Nevada?
How many students and the rest of us can show up on November 15 at 6pm to see Washington? This Friday game is at night, but scheduling it during commute hours is a nightmare. None of the other home games is scheduled yet, so as for game planning we are in the dark (pun intended).
The game is now primarily for the money. Our athletic department and conference have sold the games for television revenue and the game experience is not a top priority. As a loyal season ticket holder I will attend the games I can, but I'm leaning more to the 60" HDTV option. Sadly, the money grab has even denied me this experience. My cable provider does not carry the Pac 12 Network.