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Football

Williams Blog: The results are in

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher

If you haven’t seen it by now, almost 3,000 Cyclone football fans recently completed a survey regarding certain topics within the Iowa State football program. Here’s a quote via www.cyclones.com, from Associate Athletics Director for Marketing, Mary Pink.

“It’s important to gauge the opinions of customers on a regular basis. We appreciate all of the fans who completed the short survey as the data will be very beneficial to us going forward.”

If you didn’t see this survey and it’s results, you can do so by CLICKING HERE.

Feel free to go take a glance at it if you’d like. Today, I’m going to go through this survey, analyze a few important topics and ultimately give you my opinion on the matter.

So here we go.

Kickoff time

An overwhelming 66 percent of the fans surveyed said that they prefer afternoon kickoffs as opposed to morning or evening start times. This really didn’t surprise me at all. The 11:30 a.m. kickoff is a real downer for diehard tailgaters. They still represent, but it’s not as fun. Why get up at five in the morning when you can do the same thing at 10?

The fan in me loves night games. As a member of the media, they’re a nightmare. Now that covering the Cyclones is my job, a 6 p.m. kicks equals going to bed at 4 a.m. I’m not complaining. I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I just know that the majority of media members/workers more than likely feel that way about the kick time. But the games aren’t about the media or the workers. Games are about the fans and that’s where I’m at on this issue.

I believe that a 2:30 kick is absolutely perfect. The problem is that once conference play begins, it is really out of Iowa State’s control in most instances.

The number that flat out blew me away concerning kick times popped up when Iowa State fans were asked if they preferred an 11:30 kick or a 6 p.m. start. The results showed that 53 percent of fans would opt for the morning.

I’ve got a quick question for the 53 percent of you who voted for that.

Why?

The 11:30 kick is one of the worst inventions the history of college football.

College football games are about the overall experience. That’s what separates the college game from the NFL, for me at least. When I go to a pro game, I do exactly that. I go to the game and go home because the next day is Monday.

College football is all about everything. Make sense? It’s about the tailgating, the food, the socializing, the contest, the post-game tailgate…everything.

Making people wake up at 5 a.m. (and sometimes earlier) on a Saturday to go to a football game should be a crime. I understand that most of the time, the 11:30 kicks are implemented because of television. I get that. You want to be on television as much as possible. But by no means do I want to see Iowa State start scheduling 11:30 start times for non-conference, non-televised games in the future. That seriously takes away from that “game day experience” that I wrote about above.

The Thursday night debate

Do you like the fact that Iowa State has been starting their season on a Thursday night? Well, 63 percent of survey goers do. 27 percent of fans chimed in wanting a Saturday day game, while 10 percent opted for a Saturday night game to start the year.

Personally, I love the Thursday night season kickoff for two reasons. The first is exposure.
For instance, KXNO traditionally broadcasts outside of Jack Trice all day long before kickoff. That’s an awful lot of Cyclone talk that wouldn’t happen on a Saturday. What about all of the local newscasts leading off with live reports from Jack Trice Stadium?

That is very valuable exposure. At this point, Iowa State shouldn’t be targeting the fans who will be in the house regardless. It is that group of fringe fans that need to be convinced.

Ultimately, the atmosphere is why I love the Thursday night kicks the most. The sight of a night game at Jack Trice Stadium in early September is one of the most colorful, beautiful things that my eyes have ever seen. I love it. I say, keep the openers on Thursday.

ESPN games on Thursday nights?

The survey asked fans if they would be in favor of hosting an ESPN nationally televised game on a Thursday night…duh.

87 percent of respondents said yes. The other 13 percent must be totally clueless as to what hosting an ESPN Thursday Night Football game would mean. Uh…Craig James…Erin Andrews…do those names ring a bell?

You would have to again, be oblivious or just flat out insane to be against a ESPN Thursday night game in Ames. Well-played Cyclone fans.

Props to the band

At one point in the survey, fans were given the choice of excellent, very good, good, fair and poor to rate the performance of Iowa State’s marching band.

53 percent of you voted excellent, with 31 percent going with very good.

I love the band. The marching band is the cherry on top of a college football game day. So let me say this to the one percent whom voted poor.

You are mean, mean people.

That number should be a zero. Iowa State’s band is phenomenal. And what about the voice of the Iowa State marching band John Larkins? That’s Americana right there people. So please do me a favor today Fanatics. If you know a member of the Iowa State marching band, go give them a hug and tell them that it is from Chris Williams.

Thank you very much.

To wrap it up

This was a very informative survey to read over, but in the end I came away a little bit disappointed. I am down at the fact that only 16.3 percent of Iowa State season ticket holders actually participated in the survey. If you didn’t know about, I understand that. Not everybody gets online and sometimes things like these are tough to know about. But people come on this message board all of the time and literally complain about everything. This was a chance for your single voice to really be heard. And many passed up on that opportunity. Not the end of the world though. It still made for an interesting piece of reading and I’m sure that it helped the folks at the Jacobson Building out a ton.