If you’re like me or, oh, a million other Florida fans, over the past three and a half days you’ve asked (numerous times) “Why didn’t the Gators just play Idaho on Sunday?” Both teams are in town; many of the fans are still hanging around for a long weekend; and it has to be easier than rescheduling in October or December. Besides, that’s what NASCAR does when a rainout occurs.
Well, as the erudite philosopher Lee Corso likes to say: not so fast, my friend.
According to Scott Carter of GatorZone, there were only about a billion moving pieces to wrangle for a 12-hour turnaround. Okay, maybe not a billion, but definitely thousands.
Think of a football game like a live-action movie. What’s happening in front of the camera (the game) is only one part of a much larger production. There are directors, producers, concessioners, security men and women, parking attendants … and the list goes on. It’s much more than two teams throwing on pads and going after it in the dirt.
In numbers pulled from the UAA, Carter estimates that roughly 3,000 personnel are required to facilitate the average game day.
- 1,300 concession workers
- 400 private security officers
- 300 game operations officials
- 300 members of credentialed media
- 285 law enforcement officials
- 200 cleaning crew members
- 100 caterers
- 100 individuals in medical care
Even if you halve all those numbers, a Sunday game would’ve been a logistics nightmare. Alachua Sheriff and Fire and Rescue departments, as well as UPD and GPD, would’ve all been spread thin both on workers and budget.
Beyond that, Idaho was already packed and ready to head west, having checked out prior to game time. The team plane was on the tarmac by the time the contest was scrapped, and the Vandals were wheels down in Idaho sometime early Sunday morning.
To make such a quick turnaround, and effectively reproduce in 12 hours what takes months of preparation would’ve been an enormous undertaking – especially that late in the evening and in that calamitous state.
As Robert Burns once wrote:
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
Gang aft agley, [often go awry]
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
For an even more in depth look at the logistics faced on a game day, cruise on over to GatorZone.