Night games are where the magic happens

Published 4:13 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How big of a difference does playing a game during the day have with playing at night.

A lot, I think. I’m willing to bet the majority of players and fans would agree with me.

Ask anybody who has played high school football, and they’ll tell you something magical happens when they get underneath those Friday Night Lights. The atmosphere feels heavier, more electric and wild. Maybe there’s a science to it. I think it has to do with players letting the hype of playing build all day long. The fans in the stands can probably agree.

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It isn’t limited just to football. Baseball seems to have an equally exciting atmosphere during the evening and night. Take the MLB Playoffs, for example. I’m willing to bet the crowd wouldn’t go nearly as wild for a homerun at 12:30 p.m. as a home run at 9:30 p.m.

Those lights have a supernatural effect.

The Georgia Athletic Department was under a lot of fire last season for scheduling so many noon and early afternoon games. Fans sauntered into the stadium at 11:30 a.m., barely able to enjoy their tailgates and not nearly as rambunctious as they’d like to be. I’d hazard a guess that a lot of college students had rolled out of bed and got to the stadium right before kickoff. Others may not have gone to bed at all.

Fortunately, this year’s schedule has pushed back those kickoffs for the Dawgs. The season opener at Appalachian State is at 6:15 p.m., followed byDame at 7:30 the next week and a 7:30 p.m. kick off against Samford the week after that. 

Fans are ecstatic. Why? Because they love night games.

There’s more time to let the suspense and anticipation build. Players have longer to mentally and physically prepare, crucially altering their attitudes and vibes. Fans can spend the day tailgating, watching other football games and letting their excitement escalate until it’s time to play.

It also feels like more eyes are watching at night. Primetime is statistically proven to be the most watched time for TV. During the week, it’s when folks are kicking their feet up after a day of work and dinner. During the weekend, it’s after their chores and errands are wrapped up and folks begin to filter into the social scenes of their community.

Night games feel more important, more viewed and more energetic. Plays seems bigger. Stadiums sound louder. It’s the best time to watch or play a sport.

Except for golf. That’s not fun to play at night unless you’re on a glow-in-the-dark course.