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In-Stadium Replays

M Man's picture
April 28, 2014 at 9:48am

So here's a cross-cultural question.  How do you feel about the number and quality of replays on the video boards where you go to see college football?  I've been to a lifetime's worth of games in Michigan Stadium; through (I think) four different iterations of scoreboards, some of which - ahem - didn't have video boards.  Michigan Stadium might just be the worst place I have ever been for showing replays of things like disputed calls.

I've been to plenty of games in Ohio Stadium.  The 'Shoe isn't great on showing disputed replays, but you are better than Michigan.  Wisconsin's Camp Randall might be the best place I've seen for showing disputed calls.  Michigan State's Spartan Stadium is better than Michigan and OSU on this little dimension.  Northwestern's Ryan Field is hard to guage; their video isn't all that great to begin with.  I haven't yet experienced IU's fabulous new video boards; how do they use them down in Bloomington, apart from showing old basketball highlights?

The reason this comes up today is a short story in the Detroit Free Press in which Michigan AD Dave Brandon was asked about things to boost interest in Michigan's lackluster '14 home schedule.  Brandon says this, about doing more with broadband access inside the Stadium:

  “We know that what our customers want is the ability to be able to sit there and be able to surf the web  and call up replays and do all of the things they can do in their armchair at home. But when you’ve got 112,000 people sitting shoulder to shoulder and they all want to go online at the same time and you’ve got a stadium that’s fundamentally underground and we don’t have any second decks or third decks where we can put in the wiring and the antennas to get the kind of bandwidth we need, it’s the biggest challenge we have.”

After you get through saying that actually "blocking opposing linebackers" is Michigan's "biggest challenge," the point that jumps out is this; why must fans call up replays on their mobile phones, when we have two gigantic new video boards and an in-Stadium closed circuit television system (along with a network covering every game)?

There used to be a Big Ten Conference rule against showing repeated replays in slow motion.  The Conference rightly abandoned the rule last year.  But I saw little change last year, in the six games I attended in Ann Arbor, the one in East Lansing or the two in Columbus.

What do you think?

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