By Ron Dawson
Longtime Washington Husky fan Ron Dawson is a retired marketing and sales director for US West who lives in Port Ludlow with his wife. Two of his four children went to Washington, and he has been a season-ticket holder for 24 years and has traveled to to away games at LSU, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Michigan, Oregon State and Oregon.
Sadly, it looks like the era of afternoon football games is ending.
Forget the fall colors on the University of Washington campus. Fewer gorgeous views of Lake Washington. No more game-day anticipation while watching tailgaters grilling their fare and the band marching through the parking lot.
Instead, the university has prostituted itself to the television networks and the sky-high revenues from airing games at night. Who cares if we have a new facility? If we go to a game with an 8 p.m. kickoff, we are left in the dark.
The UW athletic department has our season-ticket monies, so it doesn’t care if we are in our seats. UW wants the additional TV revenue. When we buy our seats, we Husky fans don’t have a clue when most of the games will start. It becomes a crap shoot. In the Eastern markets, who is going to sit up and watch a late game with a three-hour time differential? Everyone will all be in bed.
When we went to the 7 p.m. Boise State game, we ended up climbing into bed in Port Ludlow, where we live, at 3 a.m. That was fine, and we tolerated it. It was a special event – the grand reopening of renovated Husky Stadium.
But whoever agreed to the Washington-California game starting at 8 p.m. last Saturday has forgotten about the fans. It is a slap in the face to the people who invest in and come to the games to support the Dawgs. We are very unhappy.
We passed on the Cal game last Saturday. It’s not something we wanted to do. We would rather be there to support the team and spend time with our good friends, just as we have for 24 years as season-ticket holders.
An 8 p.m. kickoff is unbelievable. Worse, with the television contracts that the Pac-12 Conference has signed, we may have to put up with this for the next 10 or 12 years. By the time this issue gets resolved, my wife and I will be in the rec room of the assisted-living center, hoping others aren’t blocking the television.
For now, we’re left in the dark.
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