Tradition v Greed
In recent years, Big Time College Football has been on a slippery slope of abandoning the traditions that have been its hallmark, not the least of which are sun-splashed Saturday afternoons, and watching the home team wearing its school colors with pride.
This week finds another example of the sport plunging headlong ever deeper into the depths, as both of the above mentioned traditions are trampled in the name of the almighty dollar.
When the Huskies travel to Pasadena this weekend to play UCLA, the game will not display the hallowed Rose Bowl grounds seeming to sit at the very base of the San Gabriel Mountains on Saturday afternoon.
Instead, the game will be played at night ---- and on Friday night, at that.
Good luck to those fans who are able to take time off from their work days to fight the legendary LA traffic and be in their seats in time for the 6 PM kickoff.
And if that isn’t bad enough, UCLA will forsake their beautiful powder-blue-and-gold uniforms for black pants, black jerseys, and black helmets.
UCLA is not alone in the sell-out. They have plenty of company right here in their own conference.
Take the UW for example.
Only two of the Huskies’ six home games this year had early afternoon starts. Their last two games began at 8 PM and 5 o’clock. Frequently, game times aren’t determined until a week before a given contest.
These late and shifting kickoffs have a chilling effect (in more ways than one) on their fans, aka “longtime paying customers”, who time and again bear the brunt of the inconvenience and discomfort, while the Athletic Department tries to quench its insatiable greed at the TV trough.
After the Cal game (8 PM start), Husky AD Scott Woodward commented that he was ‘frustrated’ by the late kickoff.
What about the fans?
The solution for Woodward, and his fellow Pac-12 Athletic Director brethren, is to simply say a loud and resounding ‘NO’ the next time the conference asks/tells him to switch kick-off times.
But then there might not be enough money to pay for the black uniforms.
I guess we can tell which is more important.
There's no question about it.