8.11.11

FAILING THE MARKET TEST.

Longtime Northern Illinois sports information director Mike Korcek says enough to Tuesday Night Football.
Confession No. 1: These midweek Mid-American Conference football games must go. Soon.  Kim Kardashian soon. I’m serious. You can have the “national TV exposure.” Take it, please.  College football should be played on Saturday afternoons in the fall – especially now.

Opinion No. 1: What was a novelty and revelation in 2004 has morphed into a present day gridiron travesty. Some of us are sick and tired of the MAC leading the nation in empty stadium seats. Night games in November are often brutally cold and only add to the league’s attendance problems exposed on TV. How do Northern Illinois alums living in the city and suburbs get from work to a 6 p.m. weeknight kickoff at Huskie Stadium? (Hint: They don’t).

In the past eight Novembers, Mid-Am football annually retreats into the Twilight Zone. Tailgating? No time. Ask local business owners what they think of midweek football. Those 8,000 fans don’t stay for too many pizzas and some beers at Lincoln Highway establishments when one must be at work the next morning. Maybe those MAC schedule-makers should sit in the stands some night with the loyal (and shivering) fans.

Get real. Did you see the thousands of vacant seats last week at the Glass Bowl (despite ESPN’s “flattering” camera angles)? For the so-called Mid-Am West Division Game of the Year, the announced attendance was 19,004 (and maybe actually 15,000 or so) in a 26,248-seat stadium. Pretty disheartening for a program with 10,000 season football tickets in the MAC’s most populated market for such a showdown.
I'm encouraged to see somebody with some sports journalism chops taking up this cause, which has long been endorsed at Cold Spring Shops, despite the opportunities the administration's promotions and cable television's requests provide to grumble or anticipate Mr Korcek.
Anybody want to guess the number of empty seats Tuesday night at Bowling Green State’s Doyt Perry Stadium? Had to ask.
Football coverage requires wider angle lenses than the well of the House, and the empty seats were evident from the beginning, and as Northern Illinois produced touchdowns and the once missing defense allowed no points in the second half, the empty seats became more common.

Saturday is for college football.

Perhaps if the faculty can't convince headquarters, the gate, or the ratings, will.

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