On the message boards of Hardcore Husky, we often joke about "Larry Scott's innovative Pac-12 Network". Everything about it seems second rate and it has become a punch line to our posters. Some are giggling right now as they read those words in quotes.
But not to be outdone, the television deals put together by Pac-12 commish Larry Scott have also diminished the experience of Husky Football. Every UW game this year has had a nighttime kickoff, with no end in sight.
UW coach Chris Petersen addressed this on Monday, as he expressed his disappointment.
“I just want to say something to our fans: we apologize for these late games. And I’d also like to reiterate it has nothing to do with us or the administration,” Petersen said. “We want to play at 1 p.m. It hurts us tremendously in terms of national exposure. No one wants to watch our game on the East Coast that late, and we all know it. We haven’t had a kickoff before 5 p.m. this season.
“And so it’s painful for our team, it’s painful for our administration and we know certainly the most important part is for our fans.”
One of those fans is my dad, Ron Johnson. I had lunch with him yesterday. He's 78 years old, and has had Husky season tickets for 61 years. Ever since his freshman year at Washington in 1957.
He also lives out on the Olympic Peninsula. That means when he attends games at Husky Stadium, he doesn't get back home until the wee hours of the morning.
It's with great fondness that I think back to those days in the 1980s and 1990s where the 1PM kickoff was the norm. It made tailgating more fun, and we had the 5th Quarter in Hec Ed Pavilion and later the Dempsey Center (before Tyrone Willingham got rid of the event).
But now my papa says that these constant night games are too much hassle. Maybe Larry Scott and his ESPN/FOX contracts are to blame. Or maybe geographic happenstance is to blame. Either way, it seems like this is a case of killing the golden goose.
I haven't attended a Husky game this year for personal reasons. But I will probably go with dad for this year's Apple Cup. For one last trip to Husky Stadium.