So, for the second time in the past two years (and the first of 2 straight times this season) Boise State is playing on Sunday. Usually the phrase “playing on Sunday” is a euphemism reserved for guys making it to the NFL which play their games on Sundays. But in our increasingly football obsessed culture, even the NFL plays not only Sunday, but Sunday nights, Monday nights and later in the season, Thursdays and even some Saturdays.
College football nowadays plays on just about every day of the week, Tuesday through Saturday you can find a college game on TV. 99.9% of the time, that game is on the ESPN family of networks. And since Boise State has become a nice mid-major draw nationally, even before the big Fiesta Bowl win last year, ESPN has been keen to feature us regularly on their broadcasts. In fact, Boise State has played on national TV 26 times in the past 7 years. (going 22-4)
What all this boils down to is while the your Michigan’s and your Oklahoma’s always know their games will be on TV and on a Saturday, Boise State fans have to memorize a schedule that is much more complicated. For example, this season alone we play 2 Thursdays, 2 Fridays and 2 Sundays to go with 6 Saturday games.
In years past, when I used to tailgate heavy with the ex-laws, these non-Saturday games bummed me out a little. I loved the tailgate so much, that when the game was not on the weekend, the party was curtailed, not as much fun… not as many people. But now, I am much more positive about playing these non-traditional games. Not only is there no huge tailgate for me to miss, but there are many positives as well.
First, the exposure that Boise State gets for playing on ESPN is gigantic. Huge. I mean, millions of college football fans tune in during the week for the only game on TV and they’re watching you. You can’t travel anywhere in the country with Boise State gear on now and not get recognized (and yes, I do love that). Plus, you create fans like this guy in Houston Texas. Not only fans are watching, but high school players from around the country get exposure to BSU that they probably would have never gotten before. You simply can’t pay for that type of pub. How else do you think we have gotten players from New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, and Texas in recent years if not for those TV games?
Of course I love the exposure. More people seeing my beloved Broncos the better. But there is a more personal reason I like these games.
As a college football fan, most of the great games are played on Saturday. But, when your local team is playing (especially a home game) you are pretty much shit outta luck to watch any of the other action that is going on. Oh sure, maybe you’ll get some score announcements from the public address announcer, but that’s about it. I love to watch college football. I love to watch the big boys collide. I love the top 10 matchups. I love the upsets and huge comebacks. But when you’re playing at the same time, you love your own team more, so thats all you see.
But, when Boise State plays on a Thursday or Sunday, that leaves my Saturdays completely open do gorge on the cornucopia of football provided by any of the 10 different networks showing games. It is paradise! You don’t have to worry about leaving Michigan v. Ohio State after the first quarter to get to your game. For example, I was tailgating during that incredible USC vs Notre Dame game in 2005 and saw exactly none of it. All I heard the next week was how great that game was, on and on. I was bummed. But, with my Saturdays open, the great games are at my fingertips.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing better than an autumn Saturday afternoon in Bronco Stadium, basking in the sun, watching the Broncos with a view of the river and downtown covered in orange and red leaves. So, that is not to say that I want to play ALL of our games on days other than Saturday. But as it stands, I like having the variation.
Kinda like having your cake and eating it too, whatever the hell that means.