Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sanford Stadium noise: a new era

Your average blogger won't admit when he's wrong. But as I've proven time and time again, I'm not your run of the mill typist. So....Reader....I was wrong. The music Saturday was timely and helped get the stadium energized for big moments. The first half left a lot to be deserved, but that wasn't the stadium staff's fault by any means.

I guess I had two real reasons to be opposed to the idea of playing canned music through the PA in Sanford. One was because I felt it would elbow out the sound the Redcoats provide. I'm old school and those guys and gals are a big part of the experience for me at each home game and an even larger one on the road (when they're allowed to travel). But the truth is that the music played over the speakers against Clemson was very well balanced with the Redcoats. In other words, for us older fans, I don't think it minimized the traditions and experience we've come to love about our home games in Athens GA.

The other reason I was opposed to this shift in practice was due in large part to my experience in Knoxville last October. The music was just too damn loud. It didn't add anything to the game except noise. We left with headaches. But this past Saturday night the music was a part of the game, a part of the experience. Again, it was timely and appropriate and not just something being blared into your ear drums. 
Perhaps that is in part due to the improvements in the sound system. But it's also because Sanford is miles ahead of that shithole of an erector set called Neyland.

Other changes that were noticeable:
  • Cell phone signal was vastly improved. I didn't take a poll of any other fans that use something other than AT&T, but I had become used to losing 90% battery power just by trying to send a text as I enter the stadium. On Saturday I always had LTE signal on my phone and left the stadium with more than enough battery to send out awesome tweets while the wife drove my drunk ass home.
  • Karaoke Cam?!? Oh, hell yes! You mean I get a whole commercial intermission to play air guitar, scream at the top of my lungs and embarrass the hell out of my kids? 
  • The TVs in the concession lines are no longer from a 1970s lab in the Psychology building. They're still a little small, but you can actually see the action and it might even be in HD. Seriously, once I refilled my bottomless stadium cup (which is still Sanford's best added feature since indoor plumbing was installed on October 12th, 1929) I actually stopped in my tracks to watch Pruitt's defense complete another three and out.
Other things not as awesome:
  • Entering the stadium took a while. I usually get to the stadium in enough time to get settled and take in the pregame. I guess lots of people were trying to do the same this time as we were honoring the Greatest Bulldog of Them All. 
  • The bathrooms are the same as they've been for quite some time.
  • The cotton candy dudes were scarce. (throwing that one in there in case the kids read this one)
  • Someone said there's a place to buy a sammich from Sonny's. If true, that's a blasphemy.
  • They didn't play "Devil Went Down to Georgia" on Karaoke Cam. But there's time. There's time.
Enough from me yelling at people to get off my lawn. How was your experience?

*Bonus points awarded if you can pick out the sentence that Mrs. Bernie helped me finish.*