College football games are extremely popular, especially at the University of Michigan. Game Days in Ann Arbor are taken very seriously by the students. Prior to the actual game, students attend tailgates where they socialize with their friends and consume alcohol. This past season, the U of M had a few night games, which are becoming a bit controversial. Night games are great for TV ratings, therefore, networks prefer to highlight big games during this time.
The reason why night games are controversial is because it gives students a lot more time to pregame and eventually tailgate. This is one of the larger concerns by the administration. On the flip side, night games enable students to sleep in a little bit later, allowing them to have the whole morning to do things such as homework or other activities.
Although there haven't been any formal studies conducted on the differences in consumption for day games vs. night games, it's certainly a topic that the caucus can shed some light on. A Harvard School of Public Health study found that “53 percent of sports fans usually engage in binge drinking” prior to the beginning of a game. As Bill Powers notes, people tailgating believe “they’ve got to polish off [their alcohol] sort of in a binge” prior to walking into a stadium.
Questions to Consider:
1. Do you see this as a true problem at U of M and other universities?
2. What is an ideal solution to the problem, if any?
3. Is there a way to come up with a solution that wouldn't deter the fun of the students?
4. How do external factors such as TV ratings play into this problem?