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The Offseason Trials: Night Games

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason is when our writing team has time to go back to all of the topics we didn't have time to write about in season. It's also a time where we forget all of those items and have to kind of figure out what to write about. So, to alleviate both problems, I would like to introduce "Offseason Trials" which hearkens back to our lawyerly roots. Each week we will have one or two articles discussing different topics we missed. Sometimes it will be simple things like, "Was Taylor Martinez just a misunderstood genius?" and other times we'll go a lot deeper and discuss the proper rating of the spread offense. The goal is to let our writing team attack topics that need discussion and that we haven't always given the proper "OTE comments devolve into inanity" treatment.

That in mind, I've more or less told the team that it's more or less whatever they want to write about, so who knows what happens next. All I know is that today I'm talking about Night Games, and that surely won't have strong takes or anything...


The Defense of the Night Game

  • At minimum, the fans love it. Yesterday, the BTN night slate was greeted with generally much cheering and admiration. Heck, Iowa is hosting a November night game vs. Minnesota. How crazy non-traditional are we going to get? That said, the tenor I was getting from twitter and the like is that people like night games more than day games.
  • From a recruiting standpoint, night games are huge for Midwest schools trying to bring kids in from out-of-town. With late Friday night games, it's hard to get to places like Lincoln and Iowa City for 11:00 AM kickoffs. Night games allow for a day of showing the kids and their parents around, making them feel right at home in the gameday atmosphere, and then letting them be a part of the game.
  • From a TV perspective, night games are prime time, and we would be remiss to point out that in an era of getting your name out to make it, you need the publicity. Would you rather be on at 11:00 AM when half the nation is still asleep or at 7:00 PM on ABC when people are fat, happy, and glued to their TV screens? I thought you might like the latter.
  • Oh, and like I've said, people love night games. They talk about how great they are. They engender jealousy by your peers - or Purdue - and hype up players. It's just a pretty cool thing to be at a night game as well. BAC is usually at a peak as well... of course, that leads to:

The Argument Against Night Games

  • The biggest argument has got to be the whole in-stadium thing. Look, if you're traveling to Iowa City and you live in Waterloo, you have a clean route of 1 hour to get there. Add gameday traffic and you probably have closer to an hour and a half before dealing with parking and the like. Add a 7:00 televised game, and it's closer to 11:00 PM before you leave the stadium, at which point you can't even pretend to take your kids because they're exhausted at 9:00 PM and everything is decidedly not awesome. The entire thing is just not super tenable.
  • Also, let's talk about the general "awesomeness" of cold night games. I hate the cold. Like, I really really hate the cold. Last year, on a beautiful day in November, me and GF3 bought club seats so we had access to inside areas to watch Nebraska play football because I absolutely hate the cold. Night games past like, September 15th are cold. We can all pretend that we're tough and there is no such thing as too cold, but we can also pretend that I am the most famous writer of all time and that I'm getting rich off of SBNBucks. We'll both know we're lying.
  • Oh, and that whole pregaming all day thing. Super cool when you're 21. A lot less cool when you're 30. I am not a huge fan of trying to walk over passed out college kids when I'm going to the game. I mean, I love me some partying, but all day generally brings out the amateurs en masse. It's not fun.
  • It's also worth noting that night games get even more crazy when you take into account the time changes and traveling for the players. At some level, the night game represents a lot of what's bad about the 'entertainment' part of College Football. We're just doing things for fun at the expense of the people who actually have to play.
So that's my two cents on both sides. What do you all think? The goal of this series is to let you decide. Are night games good? Bad? Neither?