For about ten years, we've been hearing annoying noises out of Knoxville that they might schedule a "home" game at Bristol Motor Speedway in order to set some sort of faux attendance record for a college football game. Today, they made it official.
If you've been to a game at Neyland Stadium and been seated in the upper rows of the upper deck, you know how far you are from the actual playing surface. But here's a graphic to let you know the size of Neyland compared to the track layout at Bristol:
Neyland Stadium is that little oval in the middle of that bigger oval. Now imagine yourself a proud ticket holder, seated in the upper deck stands of Bristol's stadium, looking at football being played about half a mile from your vantage point.
This is all being done to set some sort of obscene attendance record. They tell us Bristol's current configuration holds 160,000 fans, whereas Neyland Stadium only holds 100,000 or so.
I'm the biggest college football fan in America. I'll watch Boise State and Fresno State A&P in the middle of the night. But this is ridiculous.
Okay. So let's say we set the "record" for attendance at a college football game venue. So what? The site is about an equal number of miles between Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee, but why does that matter? If they could get a "record" they'd play the sumbitch on the moon, and you'd have just about as good a view of the action.
Sigh... When college football becomes a sideshow only there to entertain us while we celebrate the huge number of people willing to partake of the traffic jam, it's lost its appeal, in my book.
They have a stadium at Virginia Tech, and they fill it up. We have a stadium in Knoxville, and we fill it up. Play a home and home series, if you want to match up the two schools.
But stop trying to gimmick your way to obscurity.