Oct 242002
 
Authors: Jon Ackerman

What a great idea, these Thursday night games.

Smart people, whoever came up with this idea.

They say these games were started to give some of the smaller-budget schools some prime-time national attention. Two teams who wouldn’t normally grab viewers’ attention on Saturday’s square off with each other when college football fans have no other games to watch.

The only competition is Rachel, Chandler, Central Perk and Rachel.

CSU has taken advantage of this national exposure just about as much as Major League Baseball has with the intentional walk and Barry Bonds. If you want recruits to see you play, why wouldn’t you play on nights when you’re one of maybe two games at most?

No team in the nation has appeared on Thursday nights more than CSU. Under Sonny Lubick the team is 5-0 on Thursday nights at home, 0-4 on the road. Obviously, it’s easier for the home team to prepare for the short week.

And because of CSU’s willingness to give up the weekend games, the scheduling is starting to lean in the Rams’ favor. Consider this: the first of CSU’s two Thursday night games (not counting the season opener at Virginia, when both teams had more than a month to prepare) are at home. The second one, on the road, is next week.

It gives the Rams a full week to prepare, while Air Force, nonetheless at home, will have a few short days to get ready. CSU has the advantage in both games. Thank you ESPN.

And the fans love these games. The chance to dress like a fool and appear on national TV: a college student’s dream.

Which is why I think Thursday night college football games were actually thought up by college students themselves, the people who search for any excuse to extend a weekend from two to three days. Today’s classes are now optional.

Weekends around Fort Collins seem to start on Thursdays anyhow, but these games have just made the tradition that much richer. Instead of another night following another girl to another drink special, there’s actually something to do on a Thursday night.

The players enjoy it. They play the game on Thursday, take Fridays off with the rest of the campus, and then hit up the party scene like the rest of the college crowd. None of this racing back to Colorado on a Saturday night to salvage one night of the weekend.

Coaches love it too, and not just because of the national attention. The football freaks that they are get to sit around like all the other men their age on Saturday and do nothing but watch football. Sonny Lubick already said he’s stocked up on his potato chips.

So sure, it was a rough night last night. The game almost ended this morning.

But just think, when we’re usually recovering like this, it’s already Sunday. Now we’ve got the whole weekend ahead of us.

Can every game be played on Thursday?

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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