I don't care for the Spring Game. There is something unsatisfying about a game where every good thing that happens is also a bad thing: BO goes for 300 yards, well our front 7 is awful...Defense gets 5 INTs, well our QB's are bad. Neither side was very good, then neither side is very good.
If you are going to scrimmage, I'd love to see a scrimmage against another team...but that would end up bad, for the MAC teams of the world...Spring Game UB at Michigan, would be very depressing.
So a few years back, on the sidelines of one of these Spring Games I thought just fake it...and I still think its a great idea, here's why.
10) Spring Games are Boring - As a kid I begged my dad to go to the Bills Camp, probably an hour drive away. I was a huge football fan so I was very excited when he finally agreed to take me. We got there and it was an hour of position drills, people rolling around on the ground and no real football action. I was instantly bored and asked to go home within an hour. Every time I go to a Spring game, I get that same feeling.
When I worked at UB...the Spring Game was exciting...the culmination of 3 weeks of practices with loads of story lines behind it (Like a real life HBO Hard Knocks). Returning as a spectator, it felt like watching the Season Finale of a show without knowing the characters or why anything that happened mattered. A choreographed Spring Game can fix that, creating a building drama during the game, ensuring that some big plays happen and that the crowd stays entertained.
9) Stars Shine, Sells Tickets - No offense to Anthone Taylor, but Spring Game is not where I want to see you have your big day. I want to see BO get 175 yards with ease. I want to see Mack and Means dominate...are we weak at Corner? Then I want the starting Corner to get 5 interceptions...faking the results to end the way we all want, will let us live happily for another 140 days optimistic that our team will do well...and might convince us to spring for those season tickets.
8) Shape the Narrative - Quarterback controversies kill. Quinn doesn't have to name a starter or let the court of public opinion chime in if you choreograph the Spring Game. Lets say, Alex Zordich is Quinn's guy, and Licata will sit...well when you script in Zordich going 18-22 for 3 tds, and Licata going 6 for 18 with 2 Int's...the controversy will be over...Zordich will get the public praise and UB can move forward with a solid starter.
7) It Works for the WWE - I don't watch WWE, but many people do, so try scheduling some zany antics. With the Blue team down 4 with 2 seconds to go a hail mary flys up, and out of no where Naaman Roosevelt runs on the field and catches it for the win...Doesn't have much to do with the season, but it gets me excited for UB football.
6) No Injuries - With the game scripted, injuries should be reduced significantly
5) Test Players Acting Skills - This will come in handy for interviews, possible major changes to drama if they find themselves academically ineligible.
4) Impress Recruits - Teens these days are all "ooohhh shiny helmet" and "I'm gonna Instagram this to my Twitter" So giving them a real Hollywood production will not only A) get them to sign with UB, but also B) give UB priceless exposure on the internet.
3) Show Everyone You're Smarter Build Aura - I know you're saying, what if people find out? Well if people find out the Spring Game if fake, Coach Quinn should go out to the podium and say it was fake, but as an experiment to see which players would follow orders, and which players would try to take advantage of the script to have individual glory. "We want team players...Najja Johnson knew that last pass was a post and could have jumped it for an interception and been the hero...but he followed the team gameplan, and that's why he'll be 1st team all MAC this winter."
2) Instant Market Research via Social Media - UB should monitor Tweets and ubbullrun.com like the producers of "The Hunger Games" People think we need more blitz...lets skip to page 23 of the script. This will not only give the people what they want, it will make Jeff Quinn look like a genius mind reader.
1) Test Players Improv Skills - Inevitably in a live production, something will go wrong. Will our players crack up like Jimmy Fallon and blow the scene or power through like a professional? This is actually important as in any season there will be the moment where nothing go to plan. The best players have the ability to make it up on the fly. The best improvers in Spring will be your clutch players in the Fall.
Real or Fake...good luck to both the Blue and White team on Saturday and please stay healthy.
To the UB faithful tailgating the Spring Game, remember you are not in full Fall tailgating shape, so stretch first, and stay hydrated.
For more things I didn't like and offered free consulting advice to see: