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Cal Football Schedule: One Friday Night ESPN Home Game Every Two Years

Usually, whenever the words "Panoramic Hill Association" comes up, my mind immediately starts thinking of raising taxes on the rich by a billion percent. That way everyone desires to be poor and live in huts and learn the benefits of gingivitis. Additionally, rich people can't complain about Cal football on the hill because the Sheriff of Nottingham confiscated their property and sold it to a herd of deer.

Deer don't care about Cal football. Deer just eat vegetation, hop in the forest, and get hunted stealthily by Robert DeNiro. Deer also run away from noise and would be smart enough to spend the six Saturdays that 70,000 random strangers inhabit their lands retreating from Strawberry Canyon and visit their relatives in other local parks. It's a concept their current counterparts on the Hill are a little too dense to wrap their heads around.

So when I find myself agreeing with PHA meddling into Cal football, it makes me uneasy.

Well, ok, I don't agree with the PHA doing much of anything, but their meddling has probably at least forced Cal football not to play the dreaded Thursday Night Football game (if I'm reading this wrong, then let's presume it's the deer who forced Cal Athletics to compromise, since deer probably can't sue me for defamation). Read what the new EIR report states (lights at Witter, which I'm sure makes the deer happy) by downloading the entire PDF.  You can also click here to read bits and pieces. Progress after the jump to see the effects on Cal football scheduling.

Although the campus is obligated through its membership in the Pacific 12 Conference to play a UC
Berkeley football game on a Thursday or Friday night once every two years, starting in 2012, the campus
has reached an agreement with the Conference that Berkeleyʹs commitment will be fulfilled through
hosting Friday night games. UC Berkeley will not be required to host a Thursday night game as an
obligation of this contract (Barbour, June, 2011).

Stated another way, out of four football seasons, only two would see one typical Saturday game replaced
by a Friday weeknight game. The one nighttime game would replace a regular conference Saturday
game and does not constitute an expansion of use of the Stadium. Environmental effects of this change in
circumstance are addressed in this document.

Key information about the Friday night games would be:
• Kickoff would be scheduled for between 5 and 7 pm
• Any schedule that includes a Friday night football game would be confirmed no later than June
30 of that year.
• Friday night games would be nationally televised on ESPN.

So while the rest of the conference will have its share of Thursday Night home games, Cal is confined to Friday night on ESPN (they can still play Thursday night/Friday night road games) for its one weekday night game every two years (this does not include the Pac-12 Championship game, which is currently set up for Friday nights). Thanks a lot, deer.

Technically, I'm annoyed that the local deer can hold some sway over when and where Cal football should play its home games, but we have to all agree that despite the shiny new Pac-12 TV contract Larry Scott brokered for us, Thursday night home games would be an utter pain for fans attending the game, and it's nice to find a way to weasel out of them. It would lead to depressed attendance because it's in the middle of the weekday, flaking students who would have to finish up their work for Friday, and difficult maneuvering for Cal alumni all around California to get to Memorial.

Friday night is pretty much an extension of the weekend, so it should cause less scheduling headaches for students and alumni alike (and provide a nice sunny Saturday that isn't totally soaked up by the Cal football experience--time to see what else is going on in the Bay Area!). More importantly, Friday night home games aren't that much different from Saturday games, so practice schedules shouldn't change too much for the athletes. Considering how complicated the life of a college football athlete is, it's nice not to place any additional burden on them.

While it doesn't state that the deer influenced the decision directly, their hooves are all over this. But technically it's not the worst thing the deer have ever done to us.