The stadium experience has certainly changed over the years. Of course, what hasn't changed over the years? Have these changes been positive?
I like the Jumbo-Tron picture. That's a plus.
But how about showing more scores continuously on the scroll bar under each of the upper decks? Yeah, I know we have to sell some Berks Hot Dogs and the like to pay the bills, but can't we run a crawl like ESPN and most sports networks do continuously? You already have us here. In the seats. Who cares if we're interested in how well Sacramento State is doing against Podunk U? Shows us the scores!
I don't like the nearly continuous stream of background music that won't stay in the background. It's like we're living in a movie soundtrack. Every play, emotion or pause has to be highlighted with a sound clip. This is not a plus.
Now I fully understand that the University is trying (or maybe not) to cater to the students and the "younger" crowd. And if you are in that category, I'm sorry that I don't understand your constant need for external auditory stimulation. In case you haven't noticed, and you probably haven't if it isn't posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Vine, but those of us that are more
I liked Sweet Caroline. I'm sorry, but BOM BOM BOM I do. I liked the crowd singing and the guy on the video screen swaying and directing with his arms. Oh, like you don't have a guilty pleasure!
I like Zombie Nation. I like some of the music played to pump up the crowd.
I just don't need it continuously. Even when the stadium announcer was talking, the music was trying to overcome his voice. It's not that I need to hear him announce that it is third down (when it was really fourth down, although you can't be sure because YOU CAN'T ACTUALLY HEAR HIM!), because I can see the scoreboard through my early cataracts and I can even see the marker on the sideline. But why do we have to play music while he's talking? Maybe he should just stop.
When you watch a game on TV at home, there isn't a constant soundtrack. Do you blare your stereo while watching the game? If you do, WHY?
This year, the University has been sending me emails to choose a song for the Blue Band to play during the game from a pre-arranged list. Okay. That's nice, I suppose. For 60 seconds, we have control over what is played. Woo Hoo! (Did we even hear a woo hoo! last week after a big play?) The other 3 and a half hours we are deafened by noise that makes waterboarding seem humane.
|No Sweet Caroline! BOM BOM BOM!|
And what is with the new bag policy? I can't bring my stadium cushion with the pocket that holds a poncho and my game program into the game? It has a Penn State logo on it (someone paid for a license the cost of which was passed on to me) and yet Penn State won't allow it in their stadium? Because of security? Give me a break!
Raise your hands . . . who feels more secure at the game knowing that little old ladies have to keep their pills and extra depends in a clear plastic bag? Like you couldn't bring a handgun or some C4 explosives in your pocket? I'm sorry. It doesn't make me feel safer, and in fact, it annoys the living shit out of me. When did I start living in Russia? If you feel you have to infringe on my rights to be safe, then stay at home and watch it on TV. I guess I could do that too, but then my rant wouldn't be much of a rant. I'd be waving the white flag alongside Rodney Erickson.
The University appears, at a time when stadium attendance across the nation in general is declining, to be trying to turn fans away; to discourage people from coming. Fancy videos and pleas by O'Brien to fill the stadium aren't going to bring people to watch Penn State beat EMU 45-7. There is no fan loyalty anymore because the University threw loyalty out the window like a baby with the bathwater when it adopted the STEP program.
I'm sorry Mr. Fan who has sat on the 50-yard line for half a century at ticket face value. You now owe us $600. Per year. And oh, by the way, you still have to buy the ticket. What did they think would happen to their fan base when they treated people like that?
Our marketing gurus apparently think loud music and obnoxious stadium policies are more attractive than making the fan happy.
There has been a steady erosion of the stadium experience over the years. No re-entry after half-time. Brilliant! No alcohol at the tailgates during the games. Brilliant! No bags! No silence! No fun! No soup for us!
I had five extra tickets this past weekend that I couldn't GIVE AWAY for free. Apparently the stadium experience just doesn't beat an HDTV and the comforts of home, where you can control the sound and take a bag in the house if you want to because this is America dammit!
As an aside, I can't fathom not being able to give away a ticket. Had someone called me Sunday morning and said they had an extra ticket to the Steeler game, I would have been there. (I'm glad I wasn't after the way they played, but that's another rant altogether!) Seriously? I would go to a game with appendicitis if I had the chance at a free seat. I have skipped weddings and numerous family functions over the years to be at Penn State games. I don't understand how any plans are so set in stone you couldn't be there. Okay--if you are on a beach in Hawaii, then I'll forgive you for declining. But you wanted to get some yard work done? You have to visit your niece? That's about as transparent as the girl who turns you down for a date Saturday night because she has to wash her hair!
And maybe that is the big problem. The stadium experience isn't attractive. Why wash your hair and get all dolled up for that?
I'm not arguing to worm hole our way back to the seventies with ONLY the band playing and no replay or entertainment whatsoever. But I think it needs to be done in moderation. If you want to have alumni/ticket holders vote, let's ask some real questions . . .
Do we want all this security bullshit?
Do we want to be able to re-enter the stadium at halftime with a hand stamp and ticket stub?
Do we want to have bottled beer at tailgates?
Do we want to bring our own stadium cushions WITH or WITHOUT pockets?
And then, change your policy accordingly.
Until then, I guess we have to just be happy picking a song. Unless it's Sweet Caroline.