CUTV Football: A Great Way To Spend A Saturday

Last year, we were all taken by storm when our very own football team was given the spotlight on national television during the I-AA playoffs. We all gathered in the Palace Theater (well, at least those who weren’t studying abroad…ahem) to watch the Raiders take down Florida Atlantic live on ESPN2 to advance to the I-AA championship game. What ensued was an eruption as we tore down the goalposts at Andy Kerr Stadium. Ah, the magic of television. How a series of satellite dishes and fiber optics can cause a slew of college students to work themselves into a frenzy. Well, fans, prepare yourselves to experience that magic again. On Saturday, the Colgate-Dartmouth football game was broadcasted live from Andy Kerr Stadium on CUTV-13. Thus began the second season of CUTV football. Joining hockey and basketball, football is the third sport to be broadcasted live on CUTV and hopes to follow the success had by both the hockey and basketball programs. CUTV hockey is consistently the highest rated program on the network, while CUTV basketball got some air-time on ESPN’s Sportscenter in February of 2003 after Mark Linebaugh ’04 hit a half-court buzzer-beater to sink the American Eagles. For the second consecutive season, CUTV will broadcast three games live from Andy Kerr Stadium. In addition to this past weekend’s nail-biter over Dartmouth, CUTV will also broadcast games against Princeton, on October 9, and against Holy Cross, on October 23. The idea for CUTV football was originally the brainchild of former CUTV Executive Director Tom Bowles ’03. Bowles was instrumental to the beginnings of both the basketball and hockey programs on CUTV. Despite success in broadcasting three games during the 2003 season, a 2004 season was seriously in doubt due to the graduation of Bowles as well as last year’s announcers Danny Sells ’04 and Dan Clarin ’04. However, the remarkable success of last year’s squad encouraged a new group of students to take up the challenge of broadcasting Raider football games. Sophomore Matt Gordon has headed the 2004 project by taking on the role of producer/announcer and states that last year’s memorable squad had a big influence in his decision to take on the project. “There was uncertainty about if football would be back on CUTV, but because of the success of the team last year we knew it would be popular,” Gordon said. Junior Ted Rossman and sophomore Gates Garcia will provide the play-by-play from the booth. While Rossman adds flair to the game, it is Garcia who really shines in the booth. As a former football player, Garcia provides information that even the biggest football fan might not know. On Saturday, Garcia introduced us to the concept of the middle screen, as well as the importance of the left tackle in pass blocking. Certainly, this is information one cannot find in the stands. With this perspective on the game, one of the biggest criticisms of broadcasting home Raider athletic contests on television is that it may discourage fans from attending. Gordon, however, is positive that attendance will not decline. “I think anyone who is a true fan would attend the game in person,” Gordon said. “The biggest appeal for putting it on air is the fact that when we web cast the games people will be able to watch on the internet across the world for free.” For the next two games, Gordon hopes to provide web casting to make the contests available online through the Colgate Athletics website. The web casts will make Raider football available to people all over the country, even all over the world. While CUTV football is still in its infancy, it will look to follow the success of the CUTV hockey and basketball programs. To do so, a dedicated staff will continue to brainstorm ideas which will liven up the program. In the works are replays and taped segments, such as player interviews to be aired during halftime and commercial breaks. “We had a lot of dead time during the first broadcast,” senior communications director Nick Mirto said. “Ted and Gates had to fill a lot of air time themselves. We have interviews planned with star playing such as [senior running back] Jamaal Branch. We also might run a predictions segment.” A post-game show airs after each game in which Rossman and Garcia provide stats and information about the game just played and is sponsored by Roger’s Deli. This is another area in which those involved would like to include additional features to supplement the analysis provided by Rossman and Garcia. While still a work in progress, CUTV football got off to a good start on Saturday with a smooth program which aired three hours of football live to the Colgate campus and the Hamilton community. And with continued hard work and a little bit of luck, the program might be able to provide a little magic of its own.