Should I roast in 90-plus-degree heat on a humid day at Kenan Stadium? Or should I stay in the air-conditioned comfort of home with an HD television to watch the Larry Fedora era of UNC football start?
I chose the first option because I really wanted to be there for Fedora's opener. It was enjoyable and a 62-0 Tar Heels victory over an overmatched Elon team had quite a bit to do with that, of course.
For several reasons, I wonder about the wisdom of that choice or whether it makes sense economically or logically on any day.
Yes, the fan experience at the stadium is better than it used to be. There are huge HD screens behind both end zones, and being able to see clear replays is nice. But, for the most part, I missed the in-game Twitter banter that I usually enjoy and didn't get the choice to check on other games during timeouts and at halftime.
The cost of tickets (face value is $35 per ticket, though I didn't pay that), in addition to having to pay $10 to park and deal with the hassle of traffic, really make me wonder if it's worth it. If I'm hungry or thirsty, the in-home options certainly are a lot cheaper than at the stadium, where hot dogs, for example, are $4.
And then there's the realization that this really is catered for the TV viewer without regard for people who actually pay for tickets to the football game. That's not just at Carolina, but lots of places.
|The paying customer's view isn't as important, apparently, as giving the TV viewer |
a better shot of the action.
We didn't have terrific seats (that's my fault, of course), so my angle on many plays wasn't so good.
When we were lucky enough to have the action right in front of us, we got an obstructed view thanks to the TV cameraman (left) on a platform that rolls back and forth.
TV commitments forced UNC to kick off Saturday's game against Elon at 12:30 p.m. on a late summer afternoon when it's likely to be very hot.
It was hot. I was lucky to have tickets on the south side, so the sun wasn't in my face. But it still was bad. My T-shirt was soaked and I probably smelled like I had been working out.
|By the time the traditional postgame rendition of Hark the Sound was played, |
few fans still were around to enjoy it.
On Facebook, I noticed one friend comment that he left at halftime and another mention that he left at the end of the third quarter. The north side (the sunny side) was about as empty as I've ever seen it by the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Unlike many fans who left early because of the one-sided score and the oppressive heat, we stayed until the end of the game and enjoyed the traditional postgame rendition of Hark the Sound. But sitting in that heat and TV timeout after TV timeout delaying the game was a little irritating.
It's all about schools earning the money that TV outlets pay to televise games when they choose to show them. More often, though, I'm tempted to save my money and enjoy the game at home.
After all, it's catered more to the TV viewer than the fan in the stadium anyway.