Stadium Marketing: A+
I know it may be cheesy to see UPS deliver the game ball to some people. I also know it is unfair to not let me and the boys hang up our signs on the wall. However business is business, and I would rather keep the signs off the wall if those advertisements are going to pay for new upgrades on the stadium, or new facilities for football or any other sports. I enjoy having the program make more money off the games without having advertising forced down my throat at every stop in the game.
Stadium Scenery: A-
The new advertisements were done very well. I did not have to go into our stadium thinking it's a minor league ball park with huge colored ads all over the place. The advertising was molded into the look of the stadium, instead of being forced upon us in bright colors or poor designs. New Sparky at midfield, end zone designs, and even the back of the scoreboards being painted can be attributed to the Cardinals leaving, but they were done very well. The only reason this does not get an A+, is that I always feel that there is more to add to the stadium. I also want to see the end zones we had for USC painted every week.
The C grade is the average of an A+ and an F. The students…. wow, just brought a tear to my eye when stood up on the wall and saw my fellow students behind me filling the sections well BEFORE the game even started. However, all of the improvements we saw in the students are taken away by the absolute joke of a crowd on the other side of the stadium. The students in the first quarter were as loud as we were for LSU, USC, and UA. If it hadn't been for the students, I would have thought I was at the Masters watching Tiger putt ten feet out for the win. I know the people who read this website are not the problem with support and noise, but there were times when I could count the people standing during defensive third downs on two hands. I cannot blame the crowd 100% because the Devils were not playing very well at all. But the main reason the grade jumped all the way down to an F instead of a D is because I heard boo birds early on in the game and often, and that is inexcusable in my opinion. A lot of quality teams struggled early on this season, and I guarantee all their fans were not booing their teams for three quarters of the game. Remember, we are not Yankee fans folks, lets show a little support for the team next game.
Stadium Security: D
I cannot speak for the rest of the stadium, so I will only grade the student section security. It was an absolute joke in every sense of the word. The only thing the security guards are good for are tearing down our signs, keeping the students from leaving or entering through the bottom of the section, and trying to kick a wonderful young a lady out of the stadium for flashing the crowd(which they did not do since she was let back in later on). We had students vomiting and stumbling all around the security and they just flat out did not care like they did last year. I have nothing wrong with drinking, but when you are vomiting all over the ground and smelling up the place, and you are falling all over everyone and pissing us off, then there should be something done. The worst thing is the fact that they were not stopping the students from throwing objects onto the field. It takes a very small amount of effort to look up and see the area where it's coming from. Why not have someone up in the booth or somewhere upstairs watching with binoculars for students throwing objects so you can relay the message to security? The players do not appreciate ice and water bottles falling down around them when they are trying to get focused on the game. Why let ten students ruin it for the thousands of others?
I do not like this new Sparky at all. Last year, Sparky would always come up in the student section and be crazy. He would crowd surf, jump on the concrete wall in front of us and go crazy, and always work the students to get us pumped up. This Sparky did none of that, I think he only came over to the student section one time, and that was just to give high-fives. The new mask looks absurd, and in my opinion would look scarier to a child than last year's version. Oh and the pushups were horrendous on every imaginable level of horrendousness. They were weak pushups, poorly timed, and extremely slow. Something has got to change with the last week's performance.
Student Management (Pre and Post game): B
While I do not like the wristband policy, it is hard for me to complain when I do not have any other viable option to choose. Therefore, the only thing I asked for is that they make the wristband policy as easy as possible for the students. I thoroughly enjoyed the setup for the students this year. They controlled the flow of students into the game much better than last year. They punched our season tickets PRIOR to getting up to the entry point, they had barriers set up so we don't have to worry about 50 people showing up 10 minutes before the gates open trying to get up in the front of the line. There were plenty of security officers there to manage the crowd, and besides the idiots ringing the Victory Bell before the game even started, all of the students did a great job in not being unruly. Post game was business as usual. They did not let us down the stairs immediately after the game, which is stupid and completely unfair to me. Let's at least be rational with the policies. We are not going to rush the field against NAU, so why are you making us walk all the way up and around the stadium to get out?
I was very impressed the marching band early on in the season, they got rid of many of the annoying things they did last year. They played good songs during the games, not those same three annoying songs over and over again like last season. I also was impressed with how they played the fight song much less than last year, because when you play it too much you stop caring about it toward the end of the game. They did a good job of not playing while the offense was trying to snap the ball, which was a big problem last season. Also, halftime was much improved over Dr. Mario and Aerosmith last season. Everyone kept asking if that was the real Santana, and unless I hear otherwise I believe it was. It sounded good, and everything was smooth. Hopefully we can increase our numbers in the following years and get this band back to being the class of the Southwest.
If you have your own grades, feel free to add them to thread of this article because I could be missing something.
Game Day Grades: NAU Version
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