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The 2OT: Should heat and UV index be considered when deciding game times?

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The Texas Tech football team opens the 2018 season with back-to-back day games

Texas Tech v TCU Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Thought.

Baseball season has officially come to an end. Now we sit in limbo awaiting the start of football season. I just can’t wait for those cool, breezy September nights under the stadium lights. Who am I kidding? This is Lubbock, Texas. We don’t have cool, breezy September nights and we most definitely do not have evening football games. The NCAA and TV networks punish the Texas Tech Red Raiders with those bright and early games. The first three games of the 2018 season, two of which are in Lubbock, have already been announced to start at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 3 p.m. respectively. It should be illegal to have a football game start before 6:00 p.m. in Lubbock.

I think it’s time for the networks and administration to think about things like heat and UV index when deciding game times.

The Take.

I admit I have missed more than a few games at the Jones simply because it is too hot. As much as I love football and Texas Tech, sitting in the stands with the sun blaring down on you for four hours is not how I want to spend my Saturday afternoon. If I happen to make it out to a day game I always end up with a headache (probably due to dehydration) and a severe sunburn (no matter how much sunscreen I apply). You’re also only allowed one water bottle. If you run out, you can buy another bottle for the price of a full meal for a family of four.

If you’re not from Lubbock, or you’re new to the area, you should know the average UV index during the month of September is 9. Simply speaking, a UV Index reading of 8-10 means very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Unprotected skin and eyes will be damaged and can burn quickly. It is typically recommended that you limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Even in October, the average UV index is 6, which is still considered high. Temperatures in Lubbock are also an issue. The average high in the month of September is 90˚ F. In recent years, however, it has been as hot as 100˚ F in September. The heat and UV index could cause severe health risks for football fans and players alike, but schedule makers insist on giving Texas Tech the early games.

It’s like networks only care about TV ratings and ignore the well being of players and fans. By placing more thought into scheduling games, maybe schools can get more fans to attend the games. More fans in the stand means more tickets sold and a greater atmosphere to display on TV. More tickets sold and greater atmosphere means higher profits. Additionally, If it’s 100˚F in the stands, it’s probably hotter on the field. Teams can set up misting fans that spray the players with water. They can make sure the players have enough fluids filled with electrolytes. They can do everything physically possible to keep the players comfortable and hydrated, but is that really enough?

Poll

Do you think heat and UV index should be considered when deciding game times?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Yesssss!
    (86 votes)
  • 11%
    I can handle it.
    (13 votes)
  • 10%
    I don’t think it’s an issue.
    (11 votes)
110 votes total Vote Now