Finally. Coverfieldtron is real.
It's been one and a half long years since we started our campaign, no... our crusade to have Michigan Stadium's current 1920's endzone scoreboards replaced with the most high tech, high definition, high resolution displays money can buy. And now... NOW... it looks as though our tireless efforts will be rewarded. CUE THE TAPE!
Q From the Detroit News' Angelique Chengelis: You also have talked about new scoreboards for Michigan Stadium. Your vision is not Cowboys Stadium huge, but pretty huge?
A From Michigan AD David Brandon: Pretty huge. If you picture the size of those (current) scoreboards and maybe something that's 30 percent larger, 40 percent larger, but then the entire surface or at least the vast majority of the surface would be video screen. I think those scoreboards look wimpy now with this structure and then the fact the HD video portion is only about a third of the surface. We can't do what our fans want us to do in terms of showing them really high-resolution replays, game action and even a lot of the marketing stuff we're doing with videos and pre-game and halftime shows — these screens are just not acceptable. This is very old technology, and they don't look very good, either. Think 30 or 40 percent larger and think big-image area for high-definition resolution screens. I think our fans will love it.
YES! Victory is OURS! Let's face it folks, with all the renovations at Yost, the new basketball practice facility, and the luxury boxes built onto Michigan Stadium it was only a matter of time until this happened. But thankfully it occurred before the donkeys that are currenlty being used to power the endzone scoreboards reached their... ahem... "retirement" age. Consider this. The current scoreboards were installed before anyone on the current team was born. In technological terms that means the scoreboards were present in the universe approximately 15 minutes after the Big Bang. They must go. They must go now. And it appears they will!
Q: So you think you'll have the scoreboards by next football season?
A: Hope so. Subject to approval. It's certainly our hope we could have them in for next season.
Oh sweet baby ray's, this is outstanding news. Now, hear me David Brandon, Michigan Stadium also needs Maize n Brew to have box seats. This is critical. Make it happen.
Switching gears, another important aspect of Brandon's Detroit News interview was the discussion of on field advertising, such as the walking basket of curly fries that was on the field and the ice on Saturday.
Needless to say, I was not happy about this. In fact, after watching a Buick "deliver" the game puck from the goal line to the center ice line I was already fairly cheesed at the athletic department for turnign this into a FOX SPORTZ!WOO! event. The curly fries just sent me over the edge. Thankfully, this will not be a staple of football games to come.
Q: But do you ever see advertising in the stadium for football?
A: No. I think our fans, even though it's pretty prevalent in most venues, I think one of the things the fans enjoy about their days at Michigan Stadium is they're not being bombarded by advertising messages, and I can understand that. I went to all the away games this year, and you go to those venues like Penn State or Ohio State and they have commercials running and videos and display advertising. As I've said over and over again, I borrow a line from Sam Walton. He said that if you don't know what to do, ask your customer. All of the research and input we've gotten from our customers is that they really don't like or want that as part of their game-day experience inside the stadium, and I respect that.
Prior to reading this, I was halfway through a column calling for blood entitled "The Big Shill". Now I can greatfully shelve that piece until such time as cows begin parachuting into Michigan Stadium (however, if they have Chick-fil-a's spicy chicken sandwich with them when the 'chute in, I will happily forgive such a transgression). Kudos, Mr. Brandon. And a special thanks to the Detroit News and Angelique Chengelis for the awesome interview, which you should read in it's entirety, BTW.