SPECIALISTS GET THE SPOTLIGHT
Adam Jude has a great piece in the Oregonian about the Duck long snappers. It's funny; they are kind of like linemen, if you don't hear their name, they must be doing their job right. It is one of the toughest positions on the field because even the slightest mistake can be devastating to the team.
I say that most people do not know about them because a few actually know who they are. Readers of Duck Sports Authority are usually well acquainted with the specialists because we cover every position not just the glamour positions!
When both Howell and Palmer committed, there was some actual excitement on the DSA message boards over their commitment to the Ducks.
Another weekend approaches and the second largest provider of television content, Direct TV has yet to come to terms with the Pac-12 Networks. Now, I, like everyone else, was excited by the concept of a Pac-12 Network. That is when I thought that it would be on Direct TV quickly. Now that I am entering a second weekend without Pac-12 Networks, it is time for me to consider the switch. I had been hanging on with the hopes of a deal. Once Dish caved, I thought for sure Direct TV would follow; guess I was wrong.
Up until now, I did not have a lot of options based on where I live and what the cable companies told me I could get.
Both sides are telling fans to "blame" the other side. The Pac-12 has even gone to the extreme of having the University of Oregon send out a bulk email to all Duck Athletic Fund contributors urging them to inundate Direct TV with phone calls to get them to cave. But if you go to Direct TV's site, they have a completely different story. In some ways I wish I could tell them BOTH to hit the bricks, but if I want Duck games carried only by the Pac-12 Network to play at my tailgates, I need the sides to come to an agreement.
Speaking of the Pac-12 and television coverage, fans can all say good bye to the good old days of looking back to highlight reels provided by fellow fans. The Pac-12 Network will only allow highlight video to be posted for 48 hours at which point the content must be removed.
It seems like a "no big deal" to most, but there were quite a few fans out there providing great content that we will now not be able to see. I often looked back at some of the Wines Family videos to look at formations and re-look at plays when I am doing match up articles... that will make my work more difficult.
Making this a further problem, though the broadcasts of games prior to the 2012 season were not the property of the conference, much like NFL Films, any and all broadcasts of prior years under the Pac-10/Pac-12, regrdless of who aired the broadcast, are no owned by the Pac-12. Want to watch the Kenny Wheaton interception on your own time? Good luck it is now owned by the Pac-12. You can still watch it now, but the big bad wolf can have it removed.
BLACKED OUT PART II
Speaking of black outs, fans better get ready for another NFL style issue, blacking out games.
As the Pac-12 Network has been implemented, fans at many schools, expecting their beloved university to use the new television revenue to help absorb higher costs and not see their ticket prices received a rude awakening this year. Tocket prices rose in spite of the added television revenue.
Naturally, many fans decided that the price hike was too much and chose to not renew their season tickets. Season ticket renewals at Oregon were down to 92% this year compared to 96% last season. This sounds inconsequential. People knew that with the new conference network, they could save the money and watch from home.
But, as schools begin to see their ticket revenue drop due to the ease of watching from home, you can be sure that they will look for a method to protect their revenues. Guess what that method will likely be? That's right, the Pac-12 could (and my money is that they will) decide to black out games within a certain distance from the home team's stadium if the game is not sold out far enough in advance; ala the NFL.
What does this mean to you? It means that last weeks game would have been blacked out in Eugene and Portland. That might make people think twice about their decision to get rid of season tickets. And that is the reason I believe that the Pac-12 will go down that road.