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The Electronicking of America
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DawgNBama Offline
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Post: #1
The Electronicking of America
Really good post from the realignment board that I'd love to
comment on in detail , but to do so on that board would be off-topic IMO, so I decided to do it here with a brand new post :
(10-02-2016 07:24 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(10-02-2016 06:58 PM)oliveandblue Wrote:  I'm noticing that at ALL levels below top 10-15 matchups... ...that there are tons of empty seats in nearly every game.

Of course some teams are better than others - and my Tulane aren't doing so well in this regard thanks to gross mismanagement under the previous administration - but I'm seeing teams that I KNOW can turn out fans showing 40-60% capacity, and it makes me a little sad as a college FB fan.

I live thousands of miles away from my school, but I know that can't be the case everywhere. Have ADs priced out their young alumns and neighborhood fans for good?

I love multi-tasking on Saturdays, but nothing beats a good CFB game that you care about.

I'm starting to believe that there is a social disconnection between fans and their schools - and it's the fabric of what makes CFB better than the NFL in my eyes.

That social disconnect could be seen two decades ago at High School events. In my lifetime I've watched attendance at High School events go from packed with standing room whether for football or basketball, to virtually just the parents of the players and cheerleaders. There are many factors but it goes hand in hand with the breakdown in the cohesion of the towns and cities. People no longer attend to support their neighbors. I think the isolationism of electronics has played a large role in this along with the shift from a single paycheck household to a double paycheck household. Many young parents find themselves too tired to even consider getting out for the evening to go to a sporting event where they have to control their children and where many times now they find themselves to strapped for sitters or tickets. So supporting the local school is no longer a civic priority.

The spillover of a couple of generations of that added to the ever higher investment required to attend big time college sports events are taking their toll. The venues are no longer conducive to community either. I quit going when I could not talk to people I had been sitting with for 40 years. The artificial noise added for TV excitement drowns out everything including conversation with the person seated immediately next to you. Add the higher numbers of the inebriated and obnoxious, or the children really too young to attend a 4 hour event crawling all over you, knocking over your drinks and concessions, or in the case of baseball games drawing on your seats with chalk which then gets all over your clothes, and whose parents just don't give a damn, and it's simply not worth going.

Now if we want to see the folks we sat with for decades we'll invite them over.

We are no longer anything but a perceived community. We don't really know our neighbors. We don't really want to maintain contact with people who are suffering. They may be the object of our trite tweets to pray for them (a notion that makes us look more holy, but provides precious little support for those in crisis) but we won't go do for them. We don't even want to go to family reunions. They are full of old people we don't know who ask us lots of questions so having people actually speaking to you instead of reading a tweet becomes too stressful to make the outing enjoyable.

We have lost our sense of family. We avoid our obligations to them whenever possible. We've lost our need to see them unless we want wedding presents or need people to attend a funeral. And we don't really want to know the people at church now either. Because of that remote preachers speaking to us from a large video screen with music we like and little demand upon our time is replacing what we've traditionally known as church. I would argue that neither version was what was intended for Christian participation because neither actually encourages, or requires us, to be in mission with the widows, orphans, sick, prisoners, or the strangers within our community, but it is still a further breakdown of human to human connection.

So there is no need to obsess about empty football venues. It is merely another symptom of a dying society. The yearnings for protectionism (another symptom) are already with as are multiple indications of the breakdown of our language, its meanings, nuances, and precision (although English has never been the most precise it has been very versatile). Social disintegration is usually followed by a form of anarchy in the last stages.

Remember that when we quit caring about our families, quit keeping up with our friends (except electronically), avoid those who place needs upon our time, and quit supporting our institutions and traditions, we've already adopted an every man for himself mentality. No cohesion, unless it is forced, means no viable civilization.

Olive and Blue, we are so under stress from a lack of cohesion in our practice of life, in our social institutions, and in our practice of law, that we are more severely in trouble than all of our isolated individuals can even comprehend.

So enjoy your family. Get to know them better. Draw your friends closer. Discuss the loss of civility and equal protection of the law both in property and body. Discuss the things that are interrupting community. And formulate strategies for rebuilding it and you will have carried out and modeled what we all need to be doing. That's our way out of this mess.

Good luck!

If I had to pin down a date when all of this started happening I would put it around the time 9/11 happened. In truth, one could successfully argue it happened before then, but IMO, 9/11 REALLY accelerated the process. Before 9/11, our society had begun to break down, with Generation X shunning the Baby Boomers, and opting to just socialize with themselves. The Internet allowed Generation X'ers to socialize by hobby instead of old traditional socializing done at work, church, neighborhood , etc. Generation Y picked up on this and ran with it, refusing to socialize with Generation X. Some Generation X 'ers still socialized with the Baby Boomers and the same could be said for some of Generation Y as well, but they were in a declining minority. After 9/11, safety was everyone's top priority, and frequent long distance flights soon became a thing of the past. Then the anthrax scare surfaced, and guess what the anthrax scare targeted? Sporting events!! So now fans that used to see games all the time were now more hesitant to buy tickets, citing distance or the possibility of an anthrax attack.

Electronics companies, noticing the surge in sales, and either not connecting them with 9/11 or perhaps the connection was made, but no one cared, decided to capitalize on these sales by making newer devices that made it very easy to connect with social media, instead of leaving socializing to
the old, time-honored way of doing it in person, much like how the auto industry encouraged a shift away from buses to cars.
(This post was last modified: 11-30-2016 03:09 AM by DawgNBama.)
11-30-2016 02:55 AM
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EvanJ Offline
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Post: #2
RE: The Electronicking of America
Here's why attendance at football games in non-Power 5 Conferences isn't as high as it could be (and these could apply to other sports also):

1. There are more sports channels and conferences with their own TV network, so at any time from noon to 11:00 P.M. on Saturday there will be many games to choose from on TV.

2. Many non-televised games are streamed online. If a team doesn't fill their stadium and doesn't charge to watch online, it's good for fans but bad for the school's revenue.

3. When non-Power 5 conference teams play Power 5 conference teams, the latter team normally hosts. If FBS had more games like Michigan at Western Michigan, Colorado at Wyoming, and Alabama at South Alabama, FBS teams not in Power 5 conferences could get higher attendance.
12-17-2016 02:20 PM
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georgia_tech_swagger Offline
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Post: #3
RE: The Electronicking of America
My explanations for poor and getting worse CFB attendance:

1) The economy is still not doing well. When you peel away bogus government statistics and reinsert real ones (total unemployment including those no longer in the active labor pool .... a real CPI that includes food and energy and gas .... etc) the picture gets even worse.

2) The facilities race has jumped the shark. We're getting to where schools are fighting with millions of dollars over who has the best laser tag pavilion. Fans and taxpayers ultimately shoulder these costs through higher tuition, redirected academic funds, higher ticket prices, mandatory donations to get tickets, etc.

3) The NFL (and even MLB) long ago realized TV competes with the fans in the seats, so they began changing their stadiums to make comfort and entertainment top priorities. Now most NFL stadiums have huge swaths of theater style chairback seating. I think nearly all new stadiums the last decade+ are nearly entirely or entirely chairback. And there are tons of "experiences" to have as part of going now. Pet days. Parks and nice restaurants at the stadium. It has become about the experience and not just the game. CFB has a LONGGGGGGGGGGG way to go here.

4) Most serious fans already have cable TV just to see the road games. That alone is near or above a $1,000/yr investment right there. If you're already sinking that in, why bother with the meat space game if you're paying through the nose for an inferior experience? The couch has a hugely lower barrier to entry and hugely higher entertainment ceiling in most cases.


If more butts in seats is desired, then the first step would be having the CFB equivalent of salary caps. Maximum facility spending. Maximum coaches' compensation. Maximum player stipend compensation. Etc. This will reintroduce some financial discipline and could result in dropping ticket prices. The second step is to approach the game day experience like MLB and the NFL have done for the last 15 years or so .... comfort and entertainment have to be the top priorities ... not just seeing how many asses you can cram onto a bare aluminum bleacher.
(This post was last modified: 12-21-2016 12:33 PM by georgia_tech_swagger.)
12-21-2016 12:29 PM
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