Bama and Money Games

That was expected. Deep down on Wednesday or so, when you were feeling really rational you knew how this trip to the Deep South was going to go down.

And so it came to pass.

There isn’t much to be angry about. Sure there are quibbles about playcalls here and there. Nothing would have drastically changed the game. They ran for 387 yards and held our undersized line to 68. That wasn’t scheme or toughness or effort that was preventing us. They are ranked 2nd. We are ranked in the 110s.

Lets get to the really interesting questions: Why do we play teams like Alabama?

The simple answer is money. We don’t get enough of it from donors so we have to pimp our football squad to the SEC squads to get a piece of that TV money via body bag games. The hope is that we get through these things with a nice ass-whipping and cash and perhaps show enough gumption and grit to impress someone somewhere. For every Boise St that does it, there are dozens of schools that are stuck in this cycle. Cash for beatdown is a college football tradition and especially here in Denton.

From what I can gather, we were pulling in around $650,000 as recently as 2006 and $975,000 this season.

“Every school probably in the BCS is after that same pool of schools: Your Buffalos, your Louisiana-Lafayettes, probably your teams out of Texas,” McGarity said. “They know the amount of money that’s generated by (BCS conference teams). So those schools depend on those guarantees. That’s the only way they can make their budget work and tennis and golf. That’s their lifeblood.”

That is undeniably true and what will likely keep us playing these teams for a long while. Part of the charm of being a small time school, I suppose. The coolest thing about tonight’s game was seeing our little squad on the television instead squinting at a crappy internet stream. Problem is that this game was only watchable for about a good quarter.

Reading the tweets about the game got me thinking of possible alternatives to this little dance we do. The elusive Casual Fan sees UNT play about two or three times at most. One is the first game in Denton and the second is the money game. We’ve put a lot of money and good work into improving the first. I wonder if we could help the second. I started looking at the cost of producing a decent television broadcast. Lo, what did I find? Well, those things are ridiculously expensive. One company spent $8 million for their custom HD truck. If we don’t want it looking completely terrible, it will require an army of quality people. There is a reason we only get a game or two on TX21/Sunbelt network. When they ban people tailgating during the game to ostensibly boost attendance, there just is no justification for the expense of a quality TV broadcast.

Or is there?

Say we invested a couple (more) million in our television station and put those games on people’s TVs. Run the stadium cam with a student team and simulcast the radio feed. Can’t be more expensive than rights fees that we’ll pay to the conference or something. Every week there are people that cannot make the trip to Denton for a game for completely legit, non-bad fan reasons. If you live in Arlington, a trip up to Denton is at least a five-hour trip. At least. There are plenty of good fans that would gladly tune in to a NTTV/Tx21 replay version of the game and do those same bring-a-friend-to-make-a-fan type things by doing so.

We’d get that WGN/Cubs and TBS/Braves type of thing going. With a little Fox Soccer thrown in. There are lots of Cubs fans because of their availablity on TV. Same with Braves. Fox Soccer replays games from the weekend all week long. Makes it nice and convenient to to squeeze in some games that were drowned out by NFL and College Football stuff. Imagine if we could catch that Navy/UNT epic that we missed a few more times. Hell, imagine if we taped that thing with some broadcast quality. We’d actually be on Sports Center.

That stuff is crazy important. All my evangelizing for the program is not worth one mention on The Big Show. More of these passive fans regaled me with Brelan’s week one catch and the score than they did about anything Lance did last year that wasn’t on TV. Stick that thing on NTTV, y’all. Let these kids see some Dunbar plays (especially at Guyer and Ryan) and grow up UNT fans.

It may be a waste of time and resources if it fails but it will at least let people see a little more North Texas beside the Annual Beat Down from the ranked team.

Gah.

GMG.