Jeff Gravley

UNC fans have no excuse on 'Zero Dark Thursday'

Posted October 16, 2013
Updated October 17, 2013

Turn on the lights!! North Carolina will host Miami Thursday night at 7:45 p.m. (ESPN).

The nighttime starting time snaps four straight weeks of noon or 12:30 p.m. starts for the Tar Heels. Two of those games have been on the road, and two have been at Kenan Stadium.

There has been a lot of chirping out of Chapel Hill about the distaste for playing games at noon or 12:30. Historically, these games have been poorly attended by Tar Heel fans. I vividly remember Nov. 22, 1997 when a 9-1 Tar Heel team jogged out of the tunnel on Senior Day to play Duke.

The look of amazement on Coach Mack Brown’s face said it all. He was stunned to see so many empty seats. Brown left after the season to take the job at Texas.

This past Saturday, Brown and the Longhorns beat Oklahoma in Dallas. The game started at 11 a.m. Central Time, but folks didn’t mind getting up early to be in the stands for that game.

This Saturday, there will be several top-25 teams playing at noon or before. South Carolina visits Tennessee at noon, Florida is at Missouri at 12:21 p.m., Georgia visits Vanderbilt at noon, Texas Tech and West Virginia is a nooner and TCU is at Oklahoma State in a game that will begin at 11 a.m. locally in Stillwater.

I will venture a guess that these games will be well attended. Fans show up to see a good product.

If you want a gauge of how your football team or program is perceived, take a gander at the TV listings on Saturday. The prime location is 7 or 8 p.m. on ESPN or ABC. ESPN also likes to put attractive ACC games on at noon.

After ESPN sifts through the schedule, the ACC Network gets to pick the game for 12:30 p.m. Then Fox Sports Regional takes over in the selection process. The rest of the games are left for computer-based ESPN3 or the dinosaur days of no TV at all.

If schools don’t like playing games at noon or 12:30, something can be done by your team. Play better, win more games and get ranked.

Right now, North Carolina, NC State and Duke aren’t appealing enough to play on TV Saturday night or in the ESPN 3:30 p.m. time slot. So that leaves them as prime targets for 3:30 p.m. regional or 12:30 p.m. ACC Network selections.

The Miami-North Carolina game was on the Thursday night schedule long before the Hurricanes were ranked 10th in the country and the Tar Heels were 1-4. 

Regardless of its record, Carolina gets to showcase the program on national TV in their home setting. It’s not a noon game, so there is no excuse for fans not to show up for “Zero Dark Thursday.”

98 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Newest First
View all
  • Barely Oct 17, 2013

    They mostly have no excuse for such a stupid name.

  • kato_karma2.3 Oct 17, 2013

    kato will not be attending as kato will be sipping zima in the parking deck.

  • JohnnyWalker Oct 17, 2013

    UNC fans won't be able to make this game tonight. They have to wake up early Friday morning and make the country its Egg McMuffins.

  • lec02572 Oct 17, 2013

    They didn't support a 9 - 1 team. They will be at the fair. Its opening night for the pig races, fair food, and funnel cakes.

  • BlueDevils00 Oct 17, 2013

    It's sad how far the UNC football program has fallen. A Nationally televised game vs a top-10 opponent and they're practically giving away tickets. Interested to see how the attendance is and whether its mostly UNC or Miami fans. The game will not be close, though.

    Miami 52 UNC 14

  • KevInApex Oct 17, 2013

    I was at that 1997 game. It was a pathetic home finale for what may have been the best UNC football team in the modern era. I know that at least in some cases people opted out of the football game and attended the Blue White basketball game later in the day.

    I remember Mack commenting how when the crowd made any noise at all it was booing(the Tarheels struggled with lowly Duke early on), and that highly rated recruits he had there went away unimpressed.

    Overall football support at UNC remains tepid.

  • kdawg Oct 17, 2013

    No excuse? How about rain in the forecast, a weak 1-4 team playing a Florida team that will destroy them, rush hour traffic trying to get to a game on a weeknight, and stacked parking decks that take two hours to exit because of a completely incompetent university parking division? I think those are pretty good excuses.

  • uncpwnsyou Oct 17, 2013

    I think you have us confused with state college.

    state college goes to pig races 'bout every day.

  • Riddickfield Oct 17, 2013

    Well said Jeff. unc fans complain every time State gets a Thursday night game and wonders why they can't get that kind of exposure, now that they have that wish fulfilled there will be a half filled stadium on TV tonight. Excuses will range from legitimate to lame, but at the end of the day they will be just that, excuses. Had to work, it looked like rain, its too late to stay up, my team is bad, its not basketball season yet, etc. With that sort of mentality they will never have a good football team.

  • unc70 Oct 17, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Two hours on the parking deck is a huge exaggeration.

More...

 

 

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Tonight at 8:00 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Tonight at 8:00 on Buzz Sports Radio

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Tomorrow at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Friday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
WAKE
Final
LOS 4
CWS 6
 
Final
CLE 4
CIN 2
 
Final
TEX 2
KAN 13
 
Final
SFG 2
OAK 9
 
Final
SEA 4
SDP 3
 
Final
MIL 8
WMIL 0
 
Final
COL 3
ARI 6
 
1st
MIN 0
UMIN 0
 
1st
IND 16
NYK 13
 
1st
ORL 19
PHO 13
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
CLE
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
UTA
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
DEN
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DET
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
LAL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
MEM
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
PHI
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
2nd
UNCA 43
LIB 34
 
2nd
PSU 38
OSU 35
 
1st
USB 13
BING 13
 
1st
FORD 11
DUQ 14
 
1st
GMAS 11
GWU 9
 
1st
UNH 14
HART 13
 
1st
STJOE 14
LAS 11
 
1st
Terriers 14
LIU 14
 
1st
GTDNS 17
MAINE 7
 
1st
LOU 16
ND 20
 
1st
SHU 17
PROV 13
 
1st
BRY 15
SHU 20
 
1st
MORE 14
SEMIZ 16
 
1st
MNTER 6
RFLSH 15
 
1st
LSU 20
TENN 16
 
1st
SFLA 23
UCF 6
 
1st
VERM 11
UMBC 8
 
1st
RMU 26
WAGN 17
 
7:30pm Tonight
UMASS
RICH
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
HOU
8:00pm Tonight
YALE
HOW
 
8:00pm Tonight
PITT
MIAMI
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA
NMST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MSU
PURD
8:00pm Tonight
STLU
BONA
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
WAKE
9:00pm Tonight
TULSA
CIN
9:00pm Tonight
VANDY
MSST
9:00pm Tonight
EILL
SIUE
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
STJ
9:00pm Tonight
OKST
TCU
9:00pm Tonight
UCLA
USC
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
UTST
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
AFA
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
BSU
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
COLST
10:00pm Tonight
ILL
NEB
11:00pm Tonight
ORST
OREG
11:00pm Tonight
UNLV
SDST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCSB
 
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
OTT
8:00pm Tonight
DET
NYR
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
MON
10:00pm Tonight
COL
PIT