Move the video board at Jerry Jones World
During the Big 12 media tour of Jerry Jones World, the first thing we did was debate the massive video board: Could a punter reach it during a game? We didn’t have any dimensions, we were just eyeballing.
I said no way, thinking that it looked too high and surely no one would build a new stadium that might get in the way of a punt. But someone else — I think it was Johnny Hoover of the Tulsa World — said he thought it could be hit with a punt. Turns out Hoover was right.
In the tour we took, our guide said test punters actually had reached the video board but that the Cowboys didn’t think it would/could happen in a game, since those test kicks were actual attempts to hit the board. Uh, not so fast. In the first exhibition game Friday night, Tennessee Titans backuppunter A.J. Trapasso banged a kick off the video board, and by rule, the play is a do-over. Then Trapasso almost hit it again.
A do-over? This isn’t sandlot football. This isn’t golf with mulligans. You want a riot on your hands? Have Mat McBriar rocket a punt off the video board against the Giants, then in the do-over New York blocks a punt for a touchdown and wins 21-17.
The NFL says it is monitoring the situation, whatever that means, and Titans coach Jeff Fisher, a member of the league’s competition committee, says it’s a concern.
The answer is clear. Raise the video board, which is 75 feet off the ground. Move it higher.
The Cowboys don’t want to do that, because of the expense. The stadium’s cost now sits at $1.15 billion ($1.2 billion, or $1.4 billion, depending on which report you believe), and any overruns come out of Jerry Jones’ pocket, which of course means it eventually comes out of fans’ pockets.
But the video board has to move up anyway for a U2 concern (you rockets can explain why), so whatever is the temporary solution, make it the permanent solution. And frankly, no one should care what it costs Jerry Jones.
In the tour, the guide proudly talked about how some of the granite in the suite areas was imported from Italy. Huh. I guess there was no pretty granite in the whole state of Texas.
To me, that was an abomination. The city of Arlington gave the Cowboys $325 million or so for the building of the stadium, and fans, very few them of from Rome or Venice, are paying outrageous seat licenses, and Jones imports granite from Italy.
If I’m the NFL, I’m telling Jones to move his video board out of punter range, no matter the cost.
Truth is, the league already has too many goofy holes in its stadiums, foremost of which are the goofy baseball infields that teams play on early in the season in dual-sport stadiums like Miami and Oakland.
No high school team in America plays on dirt, but a portion of a Dolphins-Patriots showdown might be. Ridiculous.
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