I was going to put this in the recap post, but it didn’t really fit. There seems to be a clear and deliberate effort by the administration to improve the experience inside Sanford Stadium. They’ve take advantage of new SEC policies and are showing more replays. The scoreboard is doing a good job keepng up with national and SEC scores. Social media has a presence now. We respect the attention to recycling and litter management (though the whole pass-bottles-down-the-row thing was awkward and unsanitary.) I appreciate the positive direction of these little tweaks.
That brings me to the look-ins from other games on the video board. I thought I’d love this. We know that teams are now competing for attendence against the home experience and ubiquitous TV coverage. Sure enough, it was cool to see how Stanford went ahead of USC. Georgia’s reserves were even watching that one during a very late stoppage. Kentucky’s overtime flop was a shared cringe. So far, so good.
But then there’s the Tennessee-Florida game. With Arkansas rendered irrelevant, the game in Knoxville was the biggest SEC game of the week. It makes sense that we’d want to see what was going on. Fans were checking their phones for the score in between updates. We cared.
Still it bugged me that two of our divisional rivals got that kind of billing in our stadium. Maybe it was the incongruity of sitting in our hallowed stadium enjoying a win by the Dawgs and seeing our huge HD board – the same that might’ve just showed a replay of a nice Gurley run or Bennett catch – used to broadcast the celebrations of big plays by two teams we wished could both lose. A look-in at Florida’s late game-clinching scores gave me no joy…nausea perhaps.
I fully admit this just might be a me thing. This infusion of technology should be right down my alley, and it surprised me how turned off I was at giving a Gator win such exposure. I do hope they are more judicious about the look-ins during more contested conference games when every bit of crowd and player focus needs to be on the action between the hedges. The administration is right to try to enhance the value of the ever-increasing cost of a ticket, but at the same time the stadium isn’t our living room; our role and experience is different and more active than someone passively watching the game(s) at home. I suppose I’ll get used to it, but some schools only deserve a place on our video board during our highlights.