There’s been a lot of whining this week about West Coast teams and players catching the short end of things because they play too late on Saturdays.
The theory is, Pac-12 teams worthy of Heisman and playoff consideration are under-valued because people on the East Coast aren’t staying up late to watch their games.
The problem is, as everyone knows, that if you take TV millions, you kick off when TV execs say. And they want West Coast games on late—because that maxes out their prime West-Coast audience. And because even the Big Ten isn’t going to kick off in the 10 p.m. time slot—although, make them an unreasonable offer.
The problem, I believe, is not that West Coast games begin too late. It’s that they begin too early.
How about a Pac-12 doubleheader that begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday?
That would be 4 p.m. on the East Coast, and 3 p.m. in the Midwest. And many of us would love that.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
I know. I know. Sunday is the holy day, reserved for worshipping the NFL.
But honestly, many dyed-in-the-wool college fans aren’t watching pro games.
For example, I will keep an eye on the Bears, just to know what in the heck their problem is this week. But I’m not watching the Cowboys-Rams. Or the Patriots-Kremlin.
When I was a kid, I loved everything about the Bears and the NFL, and thought college football was too screwy and unpolished. Of course, growing up in Chicago, if you weren’t on the Notre Dame bandwagon, there was pretty much true.
Over the years, though, I have grown to love the anarchy and unpredictability of the college game.
If you give me USC-Oregon or Stanford-Colorado on Sunday afternoon, I’ll watch those games when the Bears aren’t on. And when the Bears are on, I’ll flip back and forth—same as I do with Big Ten games on Saturday.
``Whoa!’’ you say. ``College football never will step on the toes of the NFL by playing on Sunday.’’
You are right, at this point. But there was a time when Friday night was reserved reverently for high-school football. And increasingly, college teams are encroaching on that.
Here’s another thought: Make a deal. Let the NFL play a game or two on Saturday, for pro football fans who have no interest in college football.
I know. I know. None of this going to happen any time soon, if ever.
I’m not holding my breath. Nor am I shedding any tears for Stanford players who are screwed out of Heisman votes, and Pac-12 teams who fret that they’ll be screwed out of a College Football Playoff berth.
They can go to the beach. Play golf year-round. They don’t have to shovel snow. And if they do, they can at least ski on it.
If you want us shivering masses in the East and Midwest to watch those games, make them later—not earlier.
Sunday. Sunday. Sunday. My Western friends.
If this sounds far-fetched, remember this: It comes from a guy who remembers that in 1963, when the Bears played the New York Giants for the NFL championship, the game was blacked out. In Chicago. Even though no tickets were available, unless you were willing to exchange your oldest son for them.
I’m glad my dad didn’t do that.
The point is, life is filled with change. Especially when you’re talking about the power of television dollars.
Sunday. Sunday. Sunday.[/membership]