More Replays, Less VideoApril 5th, 2013
Only fans wearing blinders believe the Bucs are the lone team with difficulty selling out games. It’s a leaguewide issue that has been around for the past couple of years.
Joe was stunned to learn after the 2012 season that the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers, in the heart of football country with one of the largest fanbases in the nation, a supremely loyal mass of partisans, posted the worst attendance for home games in the Steel City in over a decade.
That right there reinforced Joe’s notion that attendance isn’t going to get better any time soon, surely not while this sluggish economy is stuck in park.
warden commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken about how the at-home product is now the preferred method for watching NFL games. Going to games as a fan, as Joe has also done in the recent past, is clearly a better and cheaper choice to stay at home.
Now Goodell is pushing owners of NFL teams to make the in-stadium experience better, and Joe hearitly encourages these efforts. A recent mandate for NFL teams to improve WiFi at stadiums so fans can monitor NFL Sunday Ticket and their fantasy teams was not just a great idea, but overdue.
Earlier this week, the NFL ordered that video from the home team’s locker room at halftime, without audio, be piped in to stadium JumboTrons.
Is this what fans are truly clamoring for?
While Joe appreciates the NFL trying to be creative and give fans better access, Joe cannot think of a more boring thing. So fans are going to buy tickets, in part, so they can see the team sit at their locker stalls, still swearing like banshees. Remember, there is no audio and surely coaches won’t allow anything like diagrams of coverages or plays to be sent out on the JumboTron.
This is about as compelling as watching the poker dorks on TV who wear sunglasses. A test pattern is more visually appealing (if not enlightening).
Locker room video will be no different than seeing a defense sit on the bench after coming off the field.
Joe has a novel concept: Rather than halftime video of the team in the locker room, how about mandatory replays of all plays, each and every play? That’s one of the main sticking points why fans stay home and watch games on their giant HDTV screens: replays. Often, fans can see more at home.
The Bucs have invested in a monster replay board. Use it, and not just for corporate sponsored ads.
Joe hears all the time how fans stay home, many times because of so few replays on the JumboTron. Joe has yet to hear anyone say they are staying home to watch football because they can’t get a peep show from the locker room at halftime.
It’s a nice effort, Mr. Goodell, but misguided. More replays, mandatory replays, less locker room peep shows, um-kay?