Column: Eads response to gameday experience claims

Tom Eads

Editor’s Note: Tom Eads paid for an advertisement in the Nov. 2 issue of The Collegian. Loyal SDSU follower Keith Jensen wrote a response to Eads in The Brookings Register in the following days and Eads sent in his own response to The Collegian about Jensen’s claims. The following runs as a guest column.

Attention Keith Jensen: How in the world could you read my letter about SDSU football “gameday experience” and think it suggested that the same number of fans should be tailgating at SDSU games as one in Atlanta (Georgia Tech)? The letter simply said “In many cases there are half as many fans outside the stadium during the game as inside.” Half means half. If the crowd is 3,000 then, in many cases, you could have 1,500 tailgaters outside the stadium “leading to a day-long party for those outside.” Don’t look now but that would be a fun “gameday experience.”

By the way, Bobby Dodd Stadium is not the oldest in Division I. Franklin Field is. Grant Field at Historic Bobby Dodd Stadium is the oldest continuously operating “on campus” football field in Division I.

You said “non-football fans can party somewhere else … the fact is that we need our tailgaters in the stadium”.  Don’t you just reckon that most everybody with a ticket would be coming inside for the game even if they weren’t “forced” to? But what about the fans that maybe can’t afford a ticket or don’t like being crunched up in a small seat because of their size but still want to feel like they are part of the action? Why not “let” them stay outside, play their toss games, cook some more and enjoy the noises from the game and feel like they are a part of the game? It doesn’t hurt a thing. Again, probably the only school in the country with this “rule” of having the area completely devoid of tailgaters.

And what does it matter how long you have been a Division I school? Game day experience is gameday experience. If I compared yours to Georgia Southern’s or Murray State’s, yours would still be lacking.

I’m glad that you are proud of your $3,000,000 video scoreboard. I believe you said it is “better than those existing at any of our competitors in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.” I seriously doubt that they are competing for bragging rights for who has the better scoreboard, probably just who has the better score.

I didn’t say anything about the price of your scoreboard or the budget of Georgia Tech athletics versus the budget of SDSU’s but you go on and on about how much a ticket is in Atlanta compared to the cost of a ticket to a Jacks game. Why? It has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

You said you are “paying off” the cost of the scoreboard by selling advertising to sponsors. Really? How much were you paid to play the Hall and Oates song instead of letting the Pride play. You are right about Georgia Tech not having to worry about “paying off” their scoreboard. Here in the south we don’t buy anything we can’t pay for. We are a little more Thune than Daschle.

You know good and well that when I said the Georgia Tech band played “ virtually non-stop” that I didn’t mean even during the running of plays, hence the word virtually (almost entirely/nearly). I said it twice in my first letter and I’ll say it a third time here. The Pride was allowed to play one song during the entire first quarter. One! Now I don’t care who you are “that’s not right!” You’re at a college football game for crying out loud. Strike up the band!

Now, I do agree with you, somewhat, that my suggestion to “get one of the girls from the soccer team to join the football team to kick the field goals” was a little bit of a cheap shot at the Jacks kicker. Although he would be the first to tell you that the criticism comes with the territory, I still would like to say to him “I apologize.” It was a cheap shot. Any young man that is good enough to play Division I football is quite a superb athlete. Adam Vinatieri, I’m sure, didn’t make all of his kicks either.

I’m glad that you said I was welcome to attend my one game each year in Brookings. I hope to do just that for quite a few more years. I love the Jacks, the Pride and the friendly people I’ve met over the last 28 years. By the way, I’ve actually attended close to 40 games since 1983. I have been to many away games, the Pride visits to the Metrodome, the inaugural parade, Lambeau Field and other SDSU trips. Other than my friend, Jerry Lohr, I have probably flown more miles to see SDSU games and events than anyone else.

You see, I love you guys and all of you love to hear me talk. I don’t think I sound all that funny.

I write my letters to try and help. Let the band play, turn the scoreboard volume down, use the scoreboard at the appropriate time and let the fans have some fun.

Tom Eads – One of the “Georgia Boys” (Smiley is the other)

SDSU supporter since 1983