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ESPN and High School Football


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I thought this topic might justify its own post.  Below is an interesting article concerning the topic from about 10 years ago and the thought at the time. https://www.al.com/sports/2011/09/no_big_payday_for_prep_footbal.html

If ESPN is trying to pull as broad of a national audience as possible, it makes sense why they would feature games with big-name recruits who are being recruited by colleges from all over the country.   Why would someone stay home on a Friday night to watch a hs game in another state on ESPN if they can see some pretty good football in their own backyard, such as in a state like Alabama?  If there are some big recruits playing in that game, there is a good chance U of AL is recruiting one or more of them.  And if I am a rabid Alabama fan, I might be very interested in seeing that future star of my favorite college team.  So, I may just forego my local games and watch ESPN that night.  I think that is what ESPN is banking on...swaying the college football audience.

A FL game that may be very intriguing to us from a competitive standpoint, even a state title game, may have little national appeal.  As an example, Columbus vs Apopka in the 8A title game last year was a super matchup, but how many folks from outside FL would have watched it knowing they might have had to pass on one of their own state's playoff games to do so?

 

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1 hour ago, OldSchoolLion said:

A FL game that may be very intriguing to us from a competitive standpoint, even a state title game, may have little national appeal.  As an example, Columbus vs Apopka in the 8A title game last year was a super matchup, but how many folks from outside FL would have watched it knowing they might have had to pass on one of their own state's playoff games to do so?

 

Hey, Columbus had a few big time recruits. And while you are right about Apopka, a smart coach would have had a chance to grab an outstanding, under recruited Apopka player named Jacquan Lowman. Appalachian state just got a gem, I might add. 

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21 hours ago, OldSchoolLion said:

I thought this topic might justify its own post.  Below is an interesting article concerning the topic from about 10 years ago and the thought at the time. https://www.al.com/sports/2011/09/no_big_payday_for_prep_footbal.html

If ESPN is trying to pull as broad of a national audience as possible, it makes sense why they would feature games with big-name recruits who are being recruited by colleges from all over the country.   Why would someone stay home on a Friday night to watch a hs game in another state on ESPN if they can see some pretty good football in their own backyard, such as in a state like Alabama?  If there are some big recruits playing in that game, there is a good chance U of AL is recruiting one or more of them.  And if I am a rabid Alabama fan, I might be very interested in seeing that future star of my favorite college team.  So, I may just forego my local games and watch ESPN that night.  I think that is what ESPN is banking on...swaying the college football audience.

A FL game that may be very intriguing to us from a competitive standpoint, even a state title game, may have little national appeal.  As an example, Columbus vs Apopka in the 8A title game last year was a super matchup, but how many folks from outside FL would have watched it knowing they might have had to pass on one of their own state's playoff games to do so?

 

The state championship games are played after all other high school football schedules have been completed so it could be an attractive Friday TV format. Or, if a Friday presented a conflict, what if our state played the state championship games on a Wednesday or Thursday? If few or no fans will be able to attend the games, I would think the FHSAA could be very flexible if it meant much needed revenue.

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2 hours ago, HornetFan said:

The state championship games are played after all other high school football schedules have been completed so it could be an attractive Friday TV format. Or, if a Friday presented a conflict, what if our state played the state championship games on a Wednesday or Thursday? If few or no fans will be able to attend the games, I would think the FHSAA could be very flexible if it meant much needed revenue.

..a couple of thoughts.  First, I cannot see a network that caters to a national audience featuring a state title series from any one state because it could leave certain local markets feeling snubbed, ie " why them and not us?"

Second, with 8 classes, the chances of two ranked teams, or at least teams with a national brand, playing each other is really reduced.  People who have been following hs football on a national scene for many years may recognize the potential for a Bolles v Washington matchup, but how many people outside FL have ever heard of Orlando Jones, ie last years 5A final.?

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2 hours ago, OldSchoolLion said:

..a couple of thoughts.  First, I cannot see a network that caters to a national audience featuring a state title series from any one state because it could leave certain local markets feeling snubbed, ie " why them and not us?"

Second, with 8 classes, the chances of two ranked teams, or at least teams with a national brand, playing each other is really reduced.  People who have been following hs football on a national scene for many years may recognize the potential for a Bolles v Washington matchup, but how many people outside FL have ever heard of Orlando Jones, ie last years 5A final.?

I don't think it's a realistic expectation that a network would be interested in televising all 8 classes; but they may be interested in 2-3 games, say the 7A and 8A games. Good football is good football, and if our country is still scratching out of this virus, which we may well be, desperate football fans will watch live games. I know that in the past, I have watched CUSA and MAC games during the week rather than dancing and singing shows that fill the air.

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  • 1 month later...

I watched the IMG v Venice game last night and had a difficult time getting excited.  My issue was the broadcast.  I felt like I was watching a college recruiting show and oh, by the way, there was a high school football game going on in the background...versus the other way around. 

Maybe it was no worse than last year...or was it?  Everything seems to be put into the perspective of "the recruit."  I just wanted to watch some football and focus on the game.  I had difficulty doing that.  Maybe it is just senility.   

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26 minutes ago, OldSchoolLion said:

I watched the IMG v Venice game last night and had a difficult time getting excited.  My issue was the broadcast.  I felt like I was watching a college recruiting show and oh, by the way, there was a high school football game going on in the background...versus the other way around. 

Maybe it was no worse than last year...or was it?  Everything seems to be put into the perspective of "the recruit."  I just wanted to watch some football and focus on the game.  I had difficulty doing that.  Maybe it is just senility.   

For many of the seniors playing football this Fall, it is a chance to be recruited that they lost this Spring and Summer. With several college conferences still shut down for the Fall, many coaches and scouts are most likely watching those high school games. If an overlooked kid is fortunate enough to be playing in a game against a showcase team and he has a good showing, it may cause a coach to inquire as to his availability. I watched IMG beat up on Venice last night; IMG was loaded with stars, but there were some real good kids on Venice too. This afternoon, I'm watching PGA golf because the Marshall - East Kentucky and Army - ??? games are boring. ESPN is doing high school kids a service by putting them out there in front of football fans coaches around the country.

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23 minutes ago, HornetFan said:

For many of the seniors playing football this Fall, it is a chance to be recruited that they lost this Spring and Summer. With several college conferences still shut down for the Fall, many coaches and scouts are most likely watching those high school games. If an overlooked kid is fortunate enough to be playing in a game against a showcase team and he has a good showing, it may cause a coach to inquire as to his availability. I watched IMG beat up on Venice last night; IMG was loaded with stars, but there were some real good kids on Venice too. This afternoon, I'm watching PGA golf because the Marshall - East Kentucky and Army - ??? games are boring. ESPN is doing high school kids a service by putting them out there in front of football fans coaches around the country.

That is one way of looking at it.  One could also see it is exploitative.  

So much emphasis is placed upon the college scholarship as being this magic ticket, when, in reality, college is often a crap shot for some of these kids.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, OldSchoolLion said:

That is one way of looking at it.  One could also see it is exploitative.  

So much emphasis is placed upon the college scholarship as being this magic ticket, when, in reality, college is often a crap shot for some of these kids.   

For many kids, the college scholarship is their "magic ticket" out of a life of poverty. It may be a long shot for some, but better than no shot at all. 

As for it being exploitative on the part of ESPN, that's the business they're in.  The whole entertainment industry is that way.

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1 hour ago, HornetFan said:

For many kids, the college scholarship is their "magic ticket" out of a life of poverty. It may be a long shot for some, but better than no shot at all. 

As for it being exploitative on the part of ESPN, that's the business they're in.  The whole entertainment industry is that way.

Academia is counting on kids believing that college is their only ticket to success, not just athletes.  Now we have kids with college degrees flipping burgers and athletes who never belonged in college to begin with in back in poverty.

Is there another way?  Learn a trade and one can make a reasonable living.  But the colleges don't want the kids to know that and high schools are failing the kids by not exposing them to options beyond college.

I know a guy with a 24 year-old daughter who is a licensed plumber making $50+k per year who has money in the bank and no debt.  It can be done.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, OldSchoolLion said:

Academia is counting on kids believing that college is their only ticket to success, not just athletes.  Now we have kids with college degrees flipping burgers and athletes who never belonged in college to begin with in back in poverty.

Is there another way?  Learn a trade and one can make a reasonable living.  But the colleges don't want the kids to know that and high schools are failing the kids by not exposing them to options beyond college.

Back in my day, a long time ago, there were high schools that taught trades; same thing with two year colleges that offered technical degrees. You don't find many out of work plumbers, electricians, or AC technicians. Graduates could find a decent job; not like today's liberal arts grads that are flipping burgers and waiting tables. I always told my daughters if you couldn't find the degree in the classified ads, it was a waste of time taking that major. Fortunately they followed my advice and both are very successful. 

For athletes that manage to get a degree without learning much, there are always opportunities in government jobs. It doesn't take much to hold down a government job and it's almost impossible to get fired from a government job, plus they get benefits and pensions, all paid for by the taxpayers.

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6 minutes ago, HornetFan said:

Back in my day, a long time ago, there were high schools that taught trades; same thing with two year colleges that offered technical degrees. You don't find many out of work plumbers, electricians, or AC technicians. Graduates could find a decent job; not like today's liberal arts grads that are flipping burgers and waiting tables. I always told my daughters if you couldn't find the degree in the classified ads, it was a waste of time taking that major. Fortunately they followed my advice and both are very successful. 

For athletes that manage to get a degree without learning much, there are always opportunities in government jobs. It doesn't take much to hold down a government job and it's almost impossible to get fired from a government job, plus they get benefits and pensions, all paid for by the taxpayers.

Congratulations.  You are a wise father.

Agree with your comment about the government jobs being a viable path.  Unfortunately, high schools and colleges are not teaching the kids basic life skills.  It's a struggle for some kids to stay out of trouble long enough to establish a stable lifestyle.  

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