NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 25: A general view of the Louisiana Superdome on September 25, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that the Ole Miss vs. Tulane game scheduled for September 22nd of this year will be carried by FSN beginning at 11:00 AM. For those of you with cloudy memories will recall that our last meeting against Tulane in the Superdome kicked off at 8:00 PM. Due to this difference, this year's game, win or not, is not likely to be nearly as attended or anticipated by the Rebel faithful as it's 2010 counterpart.
Morning kickoffs in Oxford are bad enough. With a half-populated Grove fighting through their hangovers, quietly murmuring gametime prognostications in between listless bites off of their chicken biscuits, the "buildup" to a morning kickoff is, simply, weak. The post-victory celebration - yes, it has happened before, just try to think back to 2010ish - is surely fun, but that's only after we've had enough barbecue nachos and smuggled booze to liven our spirits and arouse our inhibitions.
A morning kickoff in New Orleans, though? Where people will have to crawl out of their hotels or awake at the crack of dawn to drive into the Crescent City? Where the Grove cannot offer a respite of sorts for wearied Friday night revelers? Where there's still pee on the street?*
Getting to and entering the Superdome isn't nearly as quick and simple as it would be at Vaught-Hemingway, either. There's the walking and the stairs and the ramps and the limited number of entrances and the cavernous parking garages and pee.** The logistics just aren't ideal.
Stunned I would be were there more than 20K people in that stadium at kickoff. The hotty toddies will literally echo off of the ceiling.
At this point, I'd rather not have the game televised at all and just move it to really any time after 3:00 PM. I know that'll never happen, because both schools stand to make a significant chunk of coin off of television revenues (for more on how television revenues have irrevocably altered college football, might I suggest Willie Morris' "The Courting of Marcus Dupree," which has a chapter on this very issue) off of this arrangement, but such would be in the best interest of the fans of both schools.
The worst part about this is the fact that this now means that I probably will not be able to make it to this game. I don't live within a convenient afternoon's drive of New Orleans. If I'm going to make it to an Ole Miss game that is anywhere south of, say, North Carolina, I have to commit significant time and resources into doing so. Assuming that this game would have been at night, I had plans on flying into New Orleans sometime on Saturday morning or early afternoon. Then I would have had more than enough time to crawl around the Big Easy, catching the afternoon's games on some bar's plasma screen while gulping down Abita fresh from the tap and pouring oysters down my gullet. I could have mingled with friends and family before the game and spent far too much time and money at Harrah's or some dive in the Warehouse District afterwards. Then, come Sunday, it's back to the airport with my hung over and exhausted self so I can make it back to wherever it is that I need to be without missing anything of real world import.
Now, unless I can find a way to wiggle out of whatever my obligations may be on that Friday, I won't be able to do any of that. And I most certainly can't be the only one with this dilemma. There are a surprising number of Ole Miss fans and alumni from points beyond the Deep South. Presumptively speaking on their behalf, I must say that these sorts of away games are excellent and convenient (let's be honest: Oxford isn't convenient) ways to spend the weekend being a football fan again. Hell, I'm already thinking about Atlanta logistics for our 2014 season-opener against Boise State in the Georgia Dome. We Rebel diaspora really look forward to to these sorts of events, and FSN has ruined that for me and likely a few others.
So kiss my ass FSN. And kiss my ass Ole Miss and Tulane for having bad football teams and giving nobody worthwhile a reason to televise this game.
*I'm not sure when it is they clean the pee off of the streets. It's there, though, and it gets cleaned up.