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Jumbotron confessions

Vicky Jacobsen | Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I know that writing this will put me at odds with the majority of the student body, Brian Kelly and just about everyone under the age of 35, but I’ve got to be honest: I hate jumbotrons. I can’t stand them. And I’m thankful for every home game that passes without the looming shadow of yet another gigantic screen darkening Notre Dame Stadium.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against fun or noise or general rowdiness (ask anyone who’s had the misfortune of standing next to me during a game — I’m neither quiet nor particularly well behaved). I do understand that giant screens are helpful for people sitting in section 123. They’re shiny new toys that impress recruits. But I still don’t want one.

I could bore you all by complaining about the commercialism of jumbotrons and how installing one in the football stadium would be the end of traditionalism at Notre Dame, but other people have already made that argument. (Besides, I’m 19 years old and had never been to a Notre Dame game before freshman year. I’m not exactly an authority on game day.)

No, what I really can’t stand about jumbotrons are the massive pictures of people’s faces that are inevitably plastered across the entire monstrosity. As much as I love seeing everyone’s shining smile, I don’t want to gawk at a 20-foot tall representation of anyone’s visage. It’s just awkward. As far as I’m concerned, that sort of screen time is excusable only for deities and perhaps dictators of totalitarian nations. And as I don’t expect to see Jesus or Dear Leader on campus anytime soon, I just don’t need to see anyone’s face 16 times larger than is normal.

But even worse, if that is possible, is the time-out crowd cam. Do they ever think about those of us who don’t like being on camera? Nope.

Back in the third grade, I wiped out on my scooter and put my front teeth through my lip, leaving my smile slightly lopsided. I spent the next several rounds of school pictures being told to give the photographer a “real smile” instead of my sideways smirk, at which point I had to explain that was simply how my face looked.

I’ve hated pictures ever since. My mom went with me to get my senior pictures taken because it’s the only way she could be sure they were actually taken. I probably won’t even read this edition of The Observer because I don’t want to see my headshot.

I don’t dislike my lopsided smile, and I don’t shy away from my reflection (my roommate will tell you that I spend way too much time in front of the mirror.) But I still hate the very thought of myself on film. I realize that the jumbotrons won’t go dark any time in the foreseeable future, so for the time being, if the roving camera man could avoid us legions of the camera-shy, we’d all appreciate it.

Contact Vicky Jacobsen at [email protected]

The views expressed in this Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.