Faced with empty or near-empty professional and college stadia all over the country, thoughtful observers offer explanations, theories… This Cal Poly fan, marooned in the stands, sketches a phenomenology of the game he fled at half-time.

[W]hy is Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Saturday nights as empty as a bird’s nest in the winter? One of the first things that comes to mind is the style of football Cal Poly plays. Cal Poly’s offense is a variation of the triple option, which is why you hear people in the stands calling for the Mustangs to “throw the damn ball.”

The goal of the triple option, in an extremely reductionist sense, is to almost always run the football while making it extremely difficult for the defense to identify who has the ball. However this entails a lot of repeatedly running right up the middle of the defense. While this bears a lot of strategic purpose, running straight into a wall of defenders is definitely not the most fun thing to watch, especially when it is the 30th time you’ve seen it in a game.

I suppose you could make a bunch of helmets bashing another bunch of helmets – or pocketbooks – over and over again interesting – or comic? – (“Repetition is the essential comedic device.”) – but interest and amusement is not really football, is it? Football is mad screaming hyperdrive…

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2 Responses to “Staditonia: The cataleptic condition brought on by sitting in a football stadium.”

  1. charlie Says:

    University libraries are the equivalent of that damn triple option. You just run headlong into the middle of stacks of books, over and over again. SO boring…

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:


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