You can’t please all the people all the time.

The Swamp has become a victim of the law of unintended consequences.  Students aren’t showing up, and there’s a big reason why.

One thing UF officials have learned from student feedback is the students do not like the early kickoffs (noon and 12:20), something that was evident last season with all those empty seats in the student section for early games.

“Our students in some ways are a lot like our entire fan base in that they enjoy night games,” Hill said. “That Arkansas game (at night) last year had a tremendous crowd. Our students do not care for the early kickoffs. They’re just rolling out of bed.”

Hill said UF is having discussions with the SEC and its television partners about scheduling Gator games later in the day or at night, especially early in the season.

“We have made it clear to the conference that the early season games, we need those to begin in the evening or late in the day. The heat is so oppressive,” Hill said. “That’s not just for our students but our entire fan base.

“We’re communicating that to our television partners as well. If we can come out of the gate with later kickoffs, we think that will contribute to bigger crowds and better attended games by our students.”

Your television partners would like to know if you’ve been cashing their checks, dude.  If you have, perhaps you should communicate to Jeremy Foley that winning four games and playing a weak home schedule isn’t the kind of formula that gets you a lot of 3:30 start times.

Then again, you could always try playing more loud recorded music at games.  If nothing else, that might help wake the students.

About these ads

33 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

33 responses to “You can’t please all the people all the time.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    This space has seen a lot of material lately about how and why student game attendance is down. I’m just pondering, but I wonder if televising each and every game in and if itself contributes to the decline?

    • 3rdandGrantham

      Absolutely it does. As does HDTV, smartphones and other communication technologies, and the like. It wasn’t that long ago that games against lesser foes were either not televised or PPV only. Now games against Buffalo and Charleston Southern can be found on ESPN3 at worst. Throw in a noon kickoff and hot temps, you can’t blame people for enjoying the game from the comforts of their home.

    • If we’re going to play Cupcake State or FCSU, I would suggest that the game not be televised other than PPV or be radio only. I hate all of the TV timeouts during a CBS game on almost every change of possession, but they are unbearable during these games. These games used to be great to take young kids because you could be out of the game within 3 hours because the game moved quickly without all of the TV stoppages. The game (even the rent-a-win baby-seal clubbings) is now controlled by the network overlords.

      • Bulldog Joe

        Agree. The UF-Georgia Southern game drew 82K+ as a 2:00pm start on PPV. That’s a good way to handle the baby-seal clubbings.

        Wait…

        • +1 – well played, sir.

          I would say Georgia Southern for us doesn’t classify as a rent-a-win game. It’s a legitimate match-up between big brother and little brother. Without UGA and Erk Russell, Georgia Southern doesn’t become the powerhouse it did. I want to see the Eagles take it to Fish Fry this year.

  2. SC Dawg

    Has nothing to do with the product on the field, right Senator?

  3. “…communicate to Jeremy Foley that winning four games and playing a weak home schedule isn’t the kind of formula that gets you a lot of 3:30 start times.”

    “Sometimes, your team is too good to be entertaining.” Sabanator comments about why students are not attending games.

    According to Saturday down South 2013 Kentucky graded a .673 for the toughest schedule in the SEC while Alabama enjoyed a .463 for the easiest schedule in the SEC. Alabama retains this position with a projected SOS of .473 in 2014.
    http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2013/sec-football-strength-of-schedule-2013/
    http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2014/2014-sec-strength-of-schedule/

    Sometime, your competion is too easy to be entertainiing. AHD
    FIFY Nick.

  4. I’m hoping we get a night game for Clemson again this year. Last season’s game ended up being kind of a fluke weather-wise, a cloud cover blew in fairly early in the afternoon and it was pleasant all day, made for great tailgating. But even a 3:30 kickoff those first few weeks is usually brutal, unless you’re in a part of the stadium that gets shade early (our seats aren’t, we roast until the sun goes down), the 3:30 games are almost worse than the early kickoffs, strictly from a temperature standpoint. The 4th quarter usually gets a little better, but those first 3 quarters are the absolute hottest part of the day.

    • Dawgfan Will

      When I worked in construction, 4 PM to sunset was always the most miserably hot part of the day. During September at least, give me a noon or 7 PM kickoff any day.

      • GaskillDawg

        Agree about late afternoon having hotter temperatures. My problem with noon kickoffs is that my tickets are in the lower north stands and the direct sunlight makes the comfort level much worse in early mornings. At least with a 4:00 kickoff the sun goes down low enough that the north stands and science buildings creates some shade.

    • I think we definitely should get a prime time ESPN slot unless the neutral site games get them on the first Saturday. It’s either going to be 4 pm or 7:45. I can’t imagine that the WWL will let the game be in the early afternoon.

  5. Macallanlover

    While all the comments about weak schedules, poor performance, bad technical facilities, late sleep-ins, etc, are factors, Hill is dead on about the oppressive heat in the first half of the season. Games in the southeast should not start until closer to sundown, say five or later. Sitting in the blazing heat of September for 4+ hours is dangerous, and certainly not enjoyable. Add the problems for fans rushing to get to the stadium and have a few minutes of grossly abbreviated tailgating time. Noon and 1 PM games should be played in the North, and low humidity climates before mid-October.

    • Now if only you can get ESPN to agree, Mac.

      • Macallanlover

        I doubt they would care whose games overlap whose if they could get CBS to part with their exclusivity of the 3:30 time slot. I don’t care for that start time either but it does give fans the time to tailgate, and part of the game is played in lesser heat and more shade. Reducing the time spent in 95-105 heat index weather is significantly better for players and fans. Perhaps a trade-off between the two, CBS maintains all rights of “first pick” SEC games, gives ESPN a couple of 3:30 games each Saturday, and gets to move their game to a later time slot now reserved for ESPN/ABC when they choose. I know, dream on.

        I care much less these days since I try to keep it 65-72 for every game I watch at home. I still make an occasional game but it has to have something extra special now, and weather/comfort is a part of that decision. I made the SC game last year because it was a decent, not great, time slot, and there was a lousy national schedule of games so I missed nothing of consequence. I still don’t see how that wasn’t scheduled as a later game for ESPN unless they didn’t want to take away from the ND/Michigan game. Plus, I felt that game was the one we needed to win the East. (I didn’t foresee the carnage in Knoxville taking us down.)

        • CBS isn’t going to give up that 3:30 slot unless the SEC is prepared to give up a whole passel of TV money. Don’t see that happening.

          • Macallanlover

            You may be right but I would bet the viewership numbers would go up dramatically for the #1 pick SEC game in a 7-8 time slot versus what they get at 3:30 with all the fans attending earlier games around the country. CBS cannot even get all their affiliates to carry the 3:30 game in many parts of the country, and they often get the start bumped by the early games carried for local teams on those affiliates (Jefferson-Pilot type games). Ratings would trump exclusive time in that case.

            • +1 – up here in ACC country, you get the last 10 minutes of Duke-Maryland as opposed to the start of the WLOCP. If you find the beginning on cable, it’s not in HD. Fox and ABC put their best matchup in prime time every week. I don’t see why CBS/ESPN doesn’t do the same with the SEC.

              • Macallanlover

                When traveling in my working life, I sometimes had to go to sports bars to get the CBS game from other markets. But it is more than just the TV competition, fans attending games during the day are often away from TVs at that time, not to mention those casual CFB who are playing golf, fishing, or tied up with family activities. “The” SEC game would be a top choice for many of these sports when choosing from the lesser games of national interest. The ad dollars would have to be higher for CBS than what they take in from 3:30. Not going to happen until a new round of contracts are in place but that’s what I would do if I were running CBS Sports, or bidding against them. And that would give us 2-3 more night games per year.

                • I assume they pay a pretty significant premium for the exclusive 3:30 SEC slot and would imagine the premium would be even higher for an 8:00 slot similar to Disney/ABC/ESPN’s Saturday Night Football with Katherine Webb Musberger and Pretty Boy Herbstreit. CBS would likely crush SNF every week with the prime SEC game. The only problem would be the last weekend in October because no way UGA and UF allow the WLOCP to be a night game again after 2002.

                  • Dog in Fla

                    The exciting thing is that they’ve shitcanned Brent and given him orders to to go to the SEC Network Galaxy of Starz to hangout with Paul and Tebowie. Bummer for Brent. Herbie has a much higher number of hot chicks following him than the combined number of groupies that Paul and Tim have.

        • Between 65-72 is quite a spread. Is that due to system performance during warmer game days or wife watching game with you and doesn’t like the colder temps? ;-)

          • Macallanlover

            Upper 60s is my favorite high temp for any day of the year with upper 40s at night. When you get near the outside fire it might get up to 72. :) Now that is game day in the mountains with the leaves all wearing their fall colors! Add drinks, bone-in ribeyes and cigars and I could do my own Old Milwaukee commercial.

      • Bazooka Joe

        They wont do it…. too many west coast games to consider….

  6. reipar

    the Pac whatever wants more day games and we want more night games. I guess it truly is impossible to make everyone happy :)

    • I dunno… ESPN seems pretty pleased with the current state of events. ;)

      • reipar

        As they should. They are ushering in the golden age of college football TV viewing at the very time that TV technology has taken off. If you do not go to the game you can stay at home and watch good games all day long. It is like the NFL ticket package, but without the extra cost.

  7. PTC DAWG

    UF just needs to install Wifi.

  8. Macallanlover

    Play those games at their air conditioned IPF facility….oh wait.

  9. We are so rotten spoiled! We want too much. Perfect temp for games, at a time that suits us. They did not think about this sugar honey iced tea in 1985.

  10. Bulldog Joe

    Bring back the BYOB sections, like the tracks and Kudzu Hill.

    Then be amazed at how many students show up.