Stadium Argument Follow-up

An awful lot of attention was applied to an ESPN blog post about “toughest” football stadiums in the ACC throughout the conference’s footprint this week.

SFN led the charge with a pretty comprehensive initial entry that can be seen by clicking here and then was followed-up by a great piece from LRM that received a lot of links in cyberspace.

You would think that everything that could be said on the topic would have been said…but there are actually a few follow-ups that we wanted to share with the community.

* First, we have to give some major kudos to Heather Dinich. Seriously. Ms. Dinich actually watched, listened and learned from the reactions of her readers and she then re-issued an updated version of her rankings. On one hand, it is very cool that someone doesn’t choose to dig-in their heels and not consider the opinions of others. On the other hand, for someone who runs ESPN’s ACC Football blog to be so far off base with her initial entry is really scary.

* Dinich moved Carter-Finley all the way to #4 (from #11) and knocked Kenan Stadium to #6 – still significantly higher than almost every other similar rankings from respected sources. Even scarier may be her appreciation for Georgia Tech (at #5). The following are her new comments on State and Carolina:

4. NC State, Carter-Finley Stadium (57,500) — The fairly new facilities here are impressive, but it lacks tradition.

PR No. 11 — I was stuck on the lack of tradition with this program, and lack of recent wins, but Wolfpack fans are passionate enough to compensate for that. I heard them at the Raleigh Regional baseball games and read their e-mails yesterday.

6. UNC, Kenan Stadium (60,000) — This place is just the right size, and the picturesque pine trees make this one of the nicest venues in the league. Butch Davis has an amazing view of all of it from his office.

PR 4 — Argue all you want about this spot, but the intimate setting here is great for fans and the facilities here should impress any recruit.

* ^Intimate setting is great for fans? What fans? The MIDGETS who are the only people that can fit into the ridiculously tight seats? Or the triathletes who can park three miles from the stadium and hike the hills to get to their seats before kickoff? Hopefully not the thousands seats or so that are on the first 5 or 6 rows where you can’t see over the players on the benches. Or the seats beyond the 10 yard line whos sightlines are amongst the worst possible. If ANYTHING can tell you WHERE journalists disconnect with the real world, it would be comments like these.

* You see, Ms. Dinich (like all journalists) is a “fan” who gets to park in the media parking lot and watch the game from the comfort of the press box. So, she has NO CLUE what is really like to be a fan in one of these midget-seats with horrible sightlines amongst a fan base whose security actually forces fans to SIT down during games. But, DAMN they have some pretty trees!!

Next, we’d like to direct you to two other good blogs that picked up on this story and posted some good stuff.

(1) First, Hugging Harold Reynolds did a nice entry and proposed their own rankings that seem very consistent with the rankings of SFN, the N&O, and The Sporting News that we have previously highlighted. They also put Carter-Finley 4th, Scott Stadium 5th and Kenan 10th.

(2) Also, two authors at BC Interruption take a personal look at stadiums of Boston College opponents through the years. It doesn’t appear they’ve been to Carter-Finley yet (or they may have chosen to change their allegiances after their visit just like their old Head Coach!) What do these guys think about the Kenan Stadium experience that Ms. Dinich still defends?

Baby blue is so not manly that it almost has the Iowa pink locker room effect which makes you forget that you are at a football game and you just want to scan the student section for co-eds. It makes for a very non-VT like home field advantage.

Their author ranks Kenan 5th in his top five simply because he has only been to about five away games. (LOL!)

5. Kenan Stadium, UNC – I need to attend more away games so this gets knocked off the list.

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31 Responses to Stadium Argument Follow-up

  1. Noah 07/17/2008 at 12:28 PM #

    Late 80s, early 90s, they used a room down under the endzone seats for the press room. Black and white checked tile. That was the hospitality room at halftime too. I saw a lot of the big donors down there.

  2. choppack1 07/17/2008 at 12:50 PM #

    RAWFS – Your comment about the dog on a chain makes me think of the classic Larry David line:

    Who has more freedom – the single man in China or the married man in the US?

    Of course, the one problem w/ the dog analogy is that a dog will never chain himself up. We’re more like dogs who have eaten from the table a couple of times. We did it, we liked it, and that nice steak on the plate sure looks good…but if we want to stay inside and enjoy the good life, it’s simply not an option…unless you are one of those rare dogs whose masters won’t address the issue.

  3. RAWFS 07/17/2008 at 1:41 PM #

    ^ My wife would send me to a Korean restaurant for dinner. And I don’t mean to eat.

  4. choppack1 07/17/2008 at 2:31 PM #

    Yea RAWFS – I’d probably be sent to the pound. We all know what happens there if you don’t get adopted pretty fast!

    Speaking of stadiums – as someone who has been to all but 2 of the stadiums in the conference, last year I did a little “College Football” experience ranking for the conference:
    1) Clemson
    2) FSU
    3) VaTech (FSU and VaTech are very close)
    4) NC State
    5) UVA
    6) GaTech
    7) UNC
    8) Wake Forest
    9) BC
    10) Duke

    Note: This is just to experience college football…It has nothing to do w/ area in general. If we’re talking road trips – I recommend BC. Here’s all you need to know about Boston – both times I’ve been there, the coniditions have been abolutely miserable – one game in a cold misty rain w/ not enough warm clothing, one game in the hot afternoon soon where the aluminum and turf were frying me – and the only thing I wished on both occassions was that I had more time to spend in the area.

  5. PackerInRussia 07/17/2008 at 9:31 PM #

    I attended a Duke/NC State game at WW several years ago and remember thinking how hard it would be as a player just to remember that this is a real game and not just practice. Someone on the other thread mentioned “Cameron Outdoor Stadium”. There was a small group of “crazies”, but they were totally ineffective and kind of silly looking because they added no noise since it was a small group of them. This makes it a tough place to play in my opinion, but for completely different reasons than the normal ones. Keenan would be hard as a player because you keep having to remind yourself that it’s OK to hit a girl.

  6. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 07/21/2008 at 9:42 AM #

    The track around Wade makes for a horrible experience. If you are on the front row of the 50 you are 40 yards from the games. The press box and back rows are probably 120 yards back. Awful.

    It would be cool if Duke, NC Central and the city of Durham could get together to build a new 30K seat stadium downtown.

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