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Chris Gay: Moving football games only makes sense

Posted: January 10, 2018 - 1:20am

I blame Clay Hall.

For the past few weeks, I've been addicted to a live trivia game I play through an app on my iPhone. It's called HQ Trivia, and the game times are usually at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. every day. Hundreds of thousands of competitors try to answer all 12 questions correctly for a piece of the grand prize, sometimes $2,000, sometimes a lot more.

It sounds easy enough. I usually play the night version and bow out around question 4 or 5. The folks at HQ Trivia throw enough random questions in there to make it difficult. One I answered correctly Sunday night: Which of the following three has the fastest heartbeat? A) Hamster, B) Hummingbird or C) Muskrat (or something like that). If you guessed Hummingbird, you'd be correct as well. The questions get more difficult.

I'm not playing this game to get rich. Heck, I've yet to make it halfway through the questions. I enjoy the entertainment value of it. And I enjoy the fact I can play it on my phone wherever I happen to be at that moment. And I blame my friend, Clay, for getting me involved.

This is the fascinating thing about the ever-evolving technological advances in society. I can play a live trivia game on my phone wherever I am. This HQ Trivia app is brilliant - though it still has some bugs at times - because it gives us flexibility to play at particular times and enjoy it.

While the folks at HQ Trivia are on the cutting edge of technology, our sports decision-makers are also making certain innovations with technology. I watched a few Thursday night NFL games through the Amazon Prime app on my phone during the regular season. On New Year's Day, I watched one TV channel where college coaches discussed the Rose Bowl in real time on another channel, while my family had an app playing the Georgia Radio Network on another TV.

Despite the technology, there's still one major problem with college football: The date. Why are we watching the biggest college football year on a Monday night, a school night, a work night?

Because of deadlines, I had to turn in this column before Georgia and Alabama played for the national championship Monday night. (If you think Central Florida is the true national champion, you can go celebrate with fictional president Hillary Clinton at the White House.) If you watched the Georgia-Alabama game, I can safely assume many of you didn't get much sleep that night. Or in other words, Tuesday was rough.

Who do we blame? The NCAA? ESPN? Both?

Why are we playing the national championship on a Monday night? Why is college football hijacking our sleep on a weeknight? Isn't there a better solution? Well, yes, there is.

If I were the NCAA head honcho, I'd immediately move the national championship to either Friday or Saturday night. High school football is played on Friday nights in the fall. Some college football games are held on Friday nights. Why not the college football championship? Or push it back to Saturday.

It'd be too perfect. If the game were held on Friday, workers could dress in their team colors in advance of the contest. There'd be plenty of time to tailgate, folks eating and drinking whatever they desired - without the worry of waking early the next day. Children could stay up till midnight without the fear and anxiety of having to take tests or do any schoolwork the next day.

Moving the college football championship to Friday or Saturday would be a big boost to businesses. Think of how many more folks would go to a sports bar to watch a game then vs. Monday night. Think of how much more food and drink would be purchased for a game not on a school night. There would be more dilly-dillying on a Friday or Saturday night vs. Monday night, when you have to go to sleep ASAP after the game.

And what about TV ratings? They'd climb higher than the stock market. When's the last time there's been must-see TV on a Friday night? When J.R. got shot? When the Dukes of Hazzard was on? When Full House ran? Or what about Saturday night? This could be the highest-rated program on Saturday night since The Love Boat.

Moving the college football championship to Friday or Saturday night would give teams a few extra days to practice, rest, do whatever they need to do. It'd give more time for buildup. And it wouldn't interfere with the NFL playoff schedule on a Friday night. If held on a Saturday night, the NFL could have an early game and an afternoon game. Then, the national championship. Boom! A tripleheader of football.

Speaking of the NFL, I'd also move the Super Bowl back a night to Saturday. Why does the biggest professional football game of the year have to be held on a work night, a school night? Why can't it be held on a night when everyone can enjoy it. And there'd still be time to make it to church the next morning.

College football and pro football are stuck in the past with their old schedules. If HQ Trivia were run by these decision-makers, we'd be playing once a day at 11 p.m. Instead, HQ Trivia has it figured out. Here's hoping out football decision-makers figure it out soon, too. Until then, enjoy catching up on your sleep.

 

BORDER BOWL: I helped cover Border Bowl V on Saturday. Knowing the high temperature was only going to reach into the low 40s, I tried not to wear 123 layers of clothing. But sometimes, I can't help myself.

I figured out a new way to stay warm, though. I found a clean pair of sleep pants and wore them under my regular pants. I'm still marveling over how brilliant that was. My legs were freezing the day before just wearing regular pants. The addition of the sleep pants under my regular pants added a wall of warmth. Genius.

If you're going outside this winter and looking to stay warm, feel free to copy my idea. But get your own sleep pants.

 

BORDER BOWL II: I was interviewing a player after the game Saturday when his mother complained loud enough for me and several others to hear that she believed he should have won one of the post-game Border Bowl awards. (To protect the innocent, I'm not mentioning the player's name. Don't worry, it wasn't a Columbia County kid.) Well, I didn't pick the players for the post-game awards. Even if I had, I wouldn't have picked her son. No offense. Within the past year, there's been a handful of times I've heard parents complain that their child should've received something he or she didn't deserve. Granted, this is a very small percentage of parents. Still, they're setting a horrible example for their children. Folks, congratulate other people when they win something and your child doesn't. We're not always going to win; we're not always going to lose, either. It's OK when others get awards. Be gracious enough to congratulate them when they do.

 

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