Saturday, October 20, 2007

On The Clock

It's time.

Delaware Stadium is sick; Delaware Stadium is suffering; and Delaware Stadium isn't going to get any better.

My father always used to say that the length of a minute depends on what side of the bathroom door you were on. For people waiting in line to use the troughs at the venerable venue on South College Avenue, that minute must sometimes seem like an eternity.

There was a time, not too long ago, when Delaware Stadium was a crown jewel. A palatial pigskin palace envied by all from Amherst to Zable. That time, unfortunately, has passed.

The "time keeper" was the issue last Saturday as Delaware hosted Northeastern in front of a large homecoming crowd. It was not the first time that the scoreboard and game clock zonked out; just the latest. The result was that twenty thousand plus fans (and broadcasters) in attendance watched game without the luxury of knowing how much time was left which is just the type of vital information that UD fans have come to expect. I felt especially bad for that guy who tries to time his trip to the trough for just before the half.

This past weekend's Clockgate was just the latest in what is starting to become a long list of issues with the stadium, the facilities, and the field.

It just doesn't seem to make sense to start throwing money at one or two specific issues when the Titanic is sinking.

I would think that the luxury boxes and corporate sponsorships alone would pay for most of the cost, if not all of it and more, for a brand new Delaware Stadium built either on the exact same spot or right next door. And yes my motives here are completely selfish knowing that a new Delaware Stadium means a new press box, and not having to fight my way over, under, and through the throngs of my colleagues in the UD press corps jockeying just to try and get to the single stall in the press box and then hope that the line is not too long so I can get back to our spot at the other end before we have to go back on the air after halftime. Get stuck behind a scribe a bit too "liberal" with his Delaware Dogs during the first half and risk missing the third quarter kickoff.

I understand traditions, but older is not always better when it comes to stadiums. The night before the Delaware-New Hampshire game I went to Fenway Park with the crew to see the Red Sox in game two of the Division Series against the Angels. As cool as Fenway is, and I know I am committing sacrilege here, it is just not that much fun sitting in those tiny little seats for five hours angled the wrong way with no leg room jammed in like a herring next to some drunk Sox fan clapping for Manny while holding both of his plastic draft beer cups in his teeth.

Delaware Football has an incredible history steeped in tradition. A large part of the fabric of that tradition has been and always will be tied to Delaware Stadium; the two are almost synonymous. But, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, this is not the end of Delaware Football. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Its time to put Delaware Stadium out of its misery.

Bill Komissaroff

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said, Bill. It is, indeed time to move on with a new stadium. Hopefully our new president will see the way clear to move forward on such a project. It will require a strength at fundraising that our current AD simply does not not possess. Many of us believe that big changes will come, hopefully soon, on S. College Avenue.