Even though it was a bye week in Saskatchewan, it was still a big weekend for football. We finally got our first taste of football at the new Mosaic Stadium. It was a small scale version of what we can expect come 2017 but there was no shortage of excitement in the stands on Saturday.
Here are some of my observations of the day:
- My experience started when I arrived at the gates and was "randomly" selected for a metal detector scan. Don't get me wrong security is a good thing but are you telling me that the mom and her small children that preceded me were not just as likely to be packing?
- The first thing I noticed was how bright it was. Its a beauty. A stark contrast from the dank pit we are used to.
- I like the wide concourse. Though I was reminded that they can engineer a more user friendly stadium but you can't engineer people to not walk like idiots.
- Until you actually stand under it, you don't appreciate how ludicrously massive the screen is. I mean you can tell its huge from the road but standing under it is a wow moment.
- Aside from the endzone seats (which I personally loathe), there did not appear to be a bad seat in the place from what I saw. Great sightliens even from places you wouldn't normally expect.
- They grossly underestimated how much food was needed. Lines were crazy long and before half time most menus were half scratched off. Getting booze was super easy. Hopefully when the permanent food kiosks are in operation, things will go bit smoother. That's the kinda thing this test event was meant to sort out.
- By the way the waffle gridiron sandwich from beer bros was surprisingly awful. I would not recommend. Opt instead for the 2 foot hot dog. It's essentially a loaf of bread with a giant tube of meat jammed inside.
- The 50/50 hit over $85,000... that just over $5 spent per person!
- Organizers were blessed with a perfect storm. Weather was superb for October and they lucked out with the Rams playing some great football this year. Had the stadium been completed a year earlier we may have had to freeze our ass off while watch the Rams get steam rolled.
- Speaking of the Rams... Noah PIcton is one hell of a QB. So many times I watched him throw and thought "were in the blue hell is that pass going?!?" only to see a Rams receive appear at the last second in the pecfect place. Picton's placement and sync with his receivers is something.
- The final couple minutes of that game were astoundingly weird to watch. The Rams were in FG range for the nail in the coffin late only to do the one thing they couldn't afford and turn the ball over. Then the Huskies get confused on what down it is and throw a 7 yard out on 3rd and 20 to effectively lose the game.
- One thing I did appreciate, the lack of challenges and ticky tacky pass interference/illegal contact calls.
All in all it was a great day, and left me pretty excited for the new season. Its somewhat cruel that after giving us a sample of a brand new stadium, for a first place team in sunny weather, they now return us to the old crappy stadium for meaningless and likely cold games.
Off topic but for someone like you who hates ticky tack calls, you would have enjoyed the Marshall / Sherman matchup yesterday. One weird PI call on Shermaan where Marshall actually send him flying with a push. But two big physical guys and the refs let them play.
That's the thing. The league assumes people want more offense regardless of what it takes. I would way rather see good on one battles like that than flags galore and defenders that can't even sneeze in the direction of a receiver
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