Tailgating or class? Thursday Gameday raises questions

Colin Ritsick

Five or six days out of the year, we are awarded the opportunity to cast aside anything that weighs on our minds. The only thing that matters on these glorious, sun-soaked Saturdays is the Blue and White.

When I look in the rear view mirror of my three-year stint here, game days will undoubtedly stand out as the pinnacle of my college career. There is no parallel experience to a Georgia Southern University Gameday.

So when Georgia Southern Athletics announced on April 1 that two home games next season would be moved to Thursday nights – Sep. 25 vs. Appalachian State University and Oct. 30 vs. Troy University – my immediate thought was: What will a Thursday Gameday look like?

All we’ve ever known is good ‘ole Saturday college football.

It’s a 9 a.m. alarm to get the day started. It’s watching ESPN’s College Gameday. It’s Georgia! Southern! chants echoing across campus. It’s girls in their sun dresses and cowboy boots strolling up and down Greek Row. It’s tailgating from sunrise to sundown with 15,000 of my best friends.

But knowing that two tailgates next year will now take place on a day in which we are expected to be productive members of society, a weekday, I have to wonder if it will be a lesser-than version.

How will the desire to tailgate stack up when Gameday coincides with class?

“It’d make me want to skip class more, definitely, but it would depend when the classes were,” Parker Asbell, a sophomore said.

Most people I talked to could not guarantee they will go to class.

“I’d have to see, but if I had an afternoon class I would probably skip it,” Curt Hughes, a junior said.

But maybe you won’t have to skip class because maybe there won’t be class at all. Washington State University cancelled classes for a Thursday game this year. The University of Central Florida did it. The University of Alabama did it in 2010.

Perhaps GSU will suspend classes as well for the first weekday game in 25 years.

If you’ve been paying close attention you’ve seen that President Brooks Keel is an athletics-minded President. He was right in the thick of the celebration in the swamp and when Thanksgiving Break ended, there he was serving alligator tail to the students. He revels in the successes of our sports programs just as much as any student does. What’s more is that he really seems to enjoy sharing these victories with the students. So personally, I would not be shocked if Keel cancelled classes. It seems like the kind of thing that he might do, but that is just my speculation.

While I’m speaking for myself, to my future teachers: If I am scheduled to be in your class on either of the aforementioned Thursdays – go ahead and mark me absent. You’d have a better shot at catching me watching an episode of Finding Bigfoot than seeing me in class on Gameday.