Posted: November 8th, 2011 | by: Steve In Iowa
Categories: Gameday 40
First off congrats to the Irish for avoiding the classic Admiral Akbar scenario at Wake Forest last Saturday. The defense played great. The offense pounded the ball and overcame a couple turnovers by Tommy, and the special teams have been making quiet improvements. This was a good win over a solid team.
But that is not what this post is about.
Ol’ Steve took his kids to Ames, Iowa, Saturday morning to visit relatives and see the Iowa State Cyclones claw their way to a hard fought win against the Big 12 cellar-dwelling Kansas Jayhawks a week after throat stomping then 20th ranked Texas Tech. It was a pretty good game. There were a few big plays and I was impressed with the ISU freshman QB, Barnett. He really looks like he can be good player. I think that Coach Paul Rhodes is doing great things with this program and has it going in the right direction after he inherited a train wreck from Gene Chizik (who shall be the subject a future post along with our very own Brian Kelly, but that is for another day).
But what really got me attention was the game-day “atmosphere” inside Jack Trice Stadium. Anyone following Notre Dame Football blogs can probably tell you that the proposal to install a jumbotron inside Notre Dame Stadium to enhance the lackluster game-day atmosphere is certainly a hot-button issue among the fan base. (Just read here, here, and here.)
I was pretty agnostic on the issue myself until I went to the game Saturday and let my senses be bombarded. Jack Trice has not one, but two massive jumbotrons. The first is an older structure above the south endzone and the other is a brand new, massive 36 ft high by 70 ft. long scoreboard, complete with HD screen mounted above the north endzone supported by steel girders four stories high and spanning the width of the field. An impressive structure, no doubt, and difficult to convey how impressive from my camera phone.
But what information did this screen convey and how did it enhance the stadium experience? It was a non-stop stream of classic heavy metal (Metallica, AC-DC, & GNR), techno-beats, and minor-league promotions with relentless advertising. Yes, you could witness highlights and replays which was helpful. But what you watched was the “Applebee’s” or “Transamerica Instant Replay.” You saw game stats, but they were brought to you by Pioneer Seed Corn or Ramsey Subaru. Video messages from sponsors encouraged you to buy more beef. And when the Cyclones moved inside the Jayhawk twenty yardline, it wasn’t just the redzone, it was the Case-IH Redzone. (Case-IH also sponsors the Redzone in Kinnick Stadium)
I don’t know how to write this next bit without sounding like a snob which is the furthest thing from my mind. I didn’t mind any of this within the context of an Iowa State football game. I’ve been to many games at Jack Trice and I’ve always had fun with my family. But an Applebee’s Instant Replay doesn’t have a place inside Notre Dame Stadium. I’ve written before that if ads could be limited and tasteful and if a potential jumbotron was used for game replays, nostalgic highlights, and classy stuff, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. But if the same people who brought us Crazy Train and this travesty:
are in charge, would you trust them to run the Jumbotron? Sadly, I think we all know the temptations of a revenue-generating jumbotron would be too great to resist. It would be a forgone conclusion that fans would be subjected to Adidas Instant Replays and St. Joseph Hospital would be bringing us the injury time outs.