Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Saturday Night Lights

The Lions will take on the Leopards under the lights once again

We now have the game times for all but one of our 10 games for 2009. You can see them here.

Some thoughts:

1) I'm sure all these times are subject to change, but you knew that already. I'm not sure yet whether the VERSUS or YES networks will change any of the listed start times for their coverage, but that can happen and we should find that out sometime before September.

2) After no night games last season, it looks like the Lions will have at least two in 2009. The road games against Fordham and Lafayette on the road are both slated for 6pm.

3) Just like it was in 2007 at this point in the offseason, we still don't have a start time for the week 3 Ivy League opener at Princeton Stadium. That game ended up being a 3pm start time. In the past, the Tigers have also made the Columbia game a nighttime contest as they did in 2001 and 2003.

The weird thing about the game this time is Princeton will be starting a short week that day as they play Colgate also at home the following Thursday on ESPNU at 7pm.

Will the Tigers try to make the Lions game an early start to maximize their already abbreviated time off?

Will they try a night game to get used to the lights before they make their 2009 national night time TV debut.

Will Ross and Rachel ever get married?

Will they ever explain what the Hell is going on on that show Lost?

Stay tuned.

4) All in all, this seems like a pretty convenient schedule for the fans. The Fordham season opener, (at Fordham), starts at 6pm, making it possible for a lot of people to observe the first day of Rosh Hashanah without missing the game.

5) The 12:30 start times for 4 of the 5 home games, and two other road games make it possible for people to see the game and then enjoy a nice free Saturday evening on the town or at home.

6) The 1:30 start time for Homecoming will again allow people to enjoy the pre-game festivities and still catch the game.

I'll keep an eye open for any time changes prompted by TV coverage.


At Wed Jun 03, 08:35:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, do you think that the Ivies should refrain from scheduling games on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? I understand that the previous chair of the Cornell Board made an attempt to do so and was roundly rebuffed. Since the Ivies have a heavy proportion of Jewish students, fans and indeed some players, it seems a shame to preclude their participation.

At Wed Jun 03, 11:22:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was an entry on the TigerBlog at a few weeks ago in which the author explained that Princeton football is experimenting with early afternoon, late afternoon and evening start times to see which schedule draws the biggest crowd.

Columbia was specifically mentioned as a game which takes place early enough in the season to permit night games.

The preliminary data at Princeton suggests that start time does not seem to have a big effect on fan turn-out.

At Wed Jun 03, 11:42:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Well, you probably didn't bargain for this long or this kind of an answer... but many many years of Yeshiva education are at play here.

I come from a very religious Jewish background so I'm tempted to remind everyone that technically, the Sabbath is a more important holiday according to Jewish law than even Rosh Hashanah. Yom Kippur has a special status that puts it on equal standing as the Sabbath. Of couse, sometimes these holidays actually fall on a Saturday as well which means all the rules apply doubly in those years.

For truly learned Jews, (unlike idiots like me), it seems silly to accommodate Jewish fans or players who are connected to a league that plays its games on Saturdays anyway.

But I'm not totally stupid. I know that for 97% of Jews, Saturday is basically just another day and the High Holidays are special. I think each school needs to take its home schedule into its own hands and if it needs or wants accommodations made for holidays, it can do that and respectfully ask the other teams to do so for the road games.

If Columbia or any of the other Ivy teams suddenly found itself with a lot of Jewish players, I can see something like a night game being planned to avoid Yom Kippur etc. But I think you have to see the problem with mostly secular Jews making demands for their religious beliefs.

When I was an undergraduate, I stopped observing the Sabbath very striclty, but I remember how a lot of the religious Jewish kids at Columbia would pin their tickets to their clothes, and actually make the 102 block walk from campus to Wien Stadium so they could watch the games without violating the Sabbath by riding in a car or handling money on the subway or in a cab. I still see a few alumni, including the once famous Irving Ruderman, wearing yarmulkes at the football games from time to time and I assume either they've made the same trip on foot or possibly live closer to Baker Field, (but I doubt that they live MUCH closer than maybe Riverdale over the bridge).

Now this is coming from a person who is still pretty religious as Jewish people go. Still, I am no paragon of virtue when it comes to following all the rules. I chose to do the Yom Kippur day game in 2007 even though no one pressured me to do so, and even though I fasted the whole day and spent the rest of the holiday in synagogue before and after the game, I think that sort of disqualifies me as a paragon of Jewish virtue.

But while I would applaud any players or fans who choose to sit out such a game and wish the school would accommodate them, I think it's fair to say that such favors really can't be expected and certainly not demanded. I would hope than any truly religious person would understand that this is the kind of sacrifice people of faith often make.

At Thu Jun 04, 01:57:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, that is a very thoughtful response to a very difficult question. When I was playing organized sports a lifetime ago I never played on the principal Jewish holidays, not so much for religious reasons but as a matter of personal pride.

At Thu Jun 04, 07:25:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If memory serves, both Shawn Green and Sandy Koufax eventually said they didn't play on High Holy Days to set an example for others, neither being very religious.

At Thu Jun 04, 08:29:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct on Koufax and Green. But it would be a nice gesture if the Ivies didn't play on the first day of the high holidays or Yom Kippur.

At Fri Jun 05, 02:26:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Correct, Koufax and Green were not religious Jews. But they also did not even consider asking their games to be rescheduled, nor did their fans.


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