New scoreboard flops
Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, September 8, 2009
On Saturday, we saw many firsts for the Notre Dame gameday experience. The band marched through the Law School arch. There were new gameday hospitality measures. The first shutout in the Charlie Weis era. Another first was the introduction of the new energy efficient scoreboards.
While we applaud the University’s concern for the environment and energy consumption, we feel that the manner in which new LED displays were used detracted from the unique atmosphere of Notre Dame Stadium. Specifically, some graphics that were displayed during the game were nothing short of atrocious. The old display was simple, and while it wasn’t flashy it gave fans all the information they needed. Graphics were simple and certainly did not compare to other over-the-top stadium scoreboards, which was just fine. The simple scoreboard ensured that fans focused on the game and evoked a more traditional feel inside the stadium.
The new display has full color, which is a welcome upgrade. However, this has turned out to be a double edged sword. While some displays, like the monogram and American flag in full color, were classy additions, other new usages were inappropriate. Following a big defensive play, the moon exploding followed by “Bam!” was completely unnecessary. If we just got a first down on a 12-yard run, we don’t need to be told “What a sweet run” it was (and why isn’t the running back wearing school colors?). The “Get loud” and clapping animations were superfluous, and frankly, insulting. Notre Dame fans are intelligent enough to follow a game and know when to clap and cheer.
So what are we asking for? We want the scoreboard to tell us what we want to know, such as other game scores and game stats. The scoreboard should not display silly graphics that serve no purpose. When fans enter Notre Dame Stadium, they should experience a traditional and unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Unfortunately, some of the new graphics are out of place, and they should no longer be used.