Rumors turned into fact yesterday when the Oregonian's Rachel Bachman confirmed that the Ducks want to move the Civil War to a Thursday.
I'm not exactly fond of Thursday games. One, we're not that great in them, and two, the atmosphere isn't the same. The Beavers played three Thursday games in 2008, and went 1-2. The Beavers lost to Stanford, beat USC, and lost to Utah. So really, we should have been 3-0 on Saturday's.
Here's part of what Rachel says in her post:
Kilkenny mentioned Thursday games at least twice in meetings last fall with the UO's Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, a faculty-led group that monitors athletic-department business.
"The current athletic department budget has been budgeted for 7 televised games," the minutes of the IAC's September meeting read. "To help increase the budget a Thanksgiving game versus Washington will be played along with a Thursday night home game."
According to meeting minutes from October, "Kilkenny stated there will be three Thursday night football games in 2009," according to IAC minutes. "Two are for Oregon (Thanksgiving and a game against USC). OSU is #2 in television revenue and they have played three Thursday night games."
De Carolis said Friday that he wasn't sure if Oregon State was second in the Pacific-10 Conference in TV revenue in 2008. But the Beavers did have their best year ever: about $3.7 million in TV payouts, $1 million more than in 2007, De Carolis said.
TV money has become increasingly important to athletic departments' bottom lines. Thursday games are attractive to networks and schools because they face less competition from other games than in Saturday's crowded schedule.
So, is this really another jealousy issue?
Let's see what people were saying in the OregonLive comment section:
Just as anything, they have to decide between the almighty dollar and the great tradition of alumni and fans enjoying an all day event in the fall in the Willamette Valley. The money Mr. Kilkenny gets from TV will probably be less than the amount that the community businesses will lose compared to Saturday games. Lots of folks can't afford to take Thursday and Friday off to drive down to a weekday night game. Possibly Mr. Kilkenny ought to get a real job so he can understand this. (by user firstthings)
Valid point. Now that I think about it... not only does it run the pre-game atmosphere, it basically removes it. Instead of coming to the game many hours early, I would imagine that most people would be fighting to make the game by kickoff. That leaves no time for tailgating or other activities that make college football what it is. The Ducks or Beavers could probably get away with this for any other game, but for a Civil War, no way.
Some more comments:
Why Thursday? Why not Wednesday? Or Friday? Or Sunday night? Seriously. If you want to be the center of attention in the country, pick a day where there's no college football going on anywhere. Then again, last season I saw ESPN games on Mondays, Sundays, Tuesdays, etc. It's all about the bucks in college football anymore, and if you aren't doing something to stand out in the crowd, you get left behind. How about playing the games on the Moon? That would be novel! (by user MyAnonNick)
NO! NO! NO! NO!
As a season ticket holder, this is insulting! How can I be expected to miss three afternoons of work, and then drive home late at night to get up early and go to work the next morning. This is a real slap in the face, and might cause me to rethink my four season tickets I've held since 1971.
U of O Athletic office, please prepare for my angry onslaught of telephone calls. (by jefflamp)
So, as you can see, Ducks and Beavers are upset with the idea of the move. So, it seems that maybe only the people in the Oregon and Oregon State Athletic Offices are in favor of the move. Money is tight these days, I understand, but is it worth ruining the tradition of a huge in-state rivalry?