Bowl games take steps to keep Y2K bug awaygreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
[Fair use/educational purposes/F*ck 'em Bucky!]
Shortly after the new millennium arrives, a group of men and women will ignore the New Year's revelry, skip the traditional champagne toast and take a walk through an empty football stadium.
Reviewing an operational checklist, they will make sure elevators go up and down, sound systems boom at proper decibels and that phones have a dial tone.
"And if any system isn't working," Rick Baker said, "we have 10 hours to fix it."
Baker, executive director of the Cotton Bowl, and others in his business has joined the rest of the world in taking precautionary steps to ensure that a Y2K bug doesn't change into Godzilla on Jan. 1, crushing everything in sight with click of a computer.
For sports fans, this is Armageddon: a blank television screen on New Year's Day, a traditional smorgasbord of college football and other events that ease the pain of that multi-martini hangover. The Cotton Bowl in Dallas and the Outback Bowl in Tampa will be the first broadcast sports events in 2000 (11 a.m. kickoffs), followed closely by the OurHouse.com Florida Citrus Bowl (1 p.m.).
Thousands of logistical steps will have been taken long before kickoff to assure the feast of football is not spoiled.
"Obviously we have had a whole army of people studying the situation from a technological point of view, and we have the situation in order," said Mark Mandell, spokesman for ABC Sports. "If it fails, people will be in place to correct it. We will have the experts in place where they need to be to fix any problems that come up."
Although ABC believes it will not have to worry about technical glitches because it will not broadcast any sporting events on Dec. 31, it has a tripleheader on Jan. 1, beginning with the Citrus Bowl. That will be followed by the Rose Bowl, which will segue into the Orange Bowl at 8:30 p.m.
For all the hype, Y2K did not alter the schedule of college bowl games, which thrive off of fans filling stadiums, hotels and local restaurants and attractions during the holidays.
There are four bowl games Dec. 31, eight on Jan. 1.
In Orlando, Chuck Rohe, executive director of the Citrus Bowl, will run through a systems check to assure Y2K compliance before the Florida Gators and Michigan State Spartans try out their latest X's and O's.
"It's business as usual," Rohe said. Almost, anyway.
About half of the usual 6,000 performers who are part of the halftime festivities will not attend because of travel concerns on Dec. 31. Most of the performers are young musicians and cheerleaders whose parents nixed the idea of travel.
The Y2K dilemma also has curtailed travel by fans who normally would fill their suitcases with team colors and enjoy a bowl-oriented vacation. Despite playing in its second consecutive Fiesta Bowl, the Tennessee Volunteers won't find the same enthusiastic spin as least season, when they defeated Florida State for the national title in Tempe, Ariz. The school only has sold 8,000 of its 15,000 ticket allotment.
"I've been doing this for 20 years, and except for the (now defunct) Garden State Bowl in 1981, this is the slowest I've ever seen it for a bowl game," said Carl Rhyne, owner of Volunteer Tours & Travel in Knoxville.
Locally, Rohe said he doesn't anticipate problems despite an apathetic approach from some Gators fans, who had hoped to be at the Sugar Bowl. Michigan State has sold about 3,000 more tickets beyond its allotment of 12,000.
To millions of red-blooded American males, as long as the games are played on New Year's Day, Y2k is a "non-event".
Here's hoping the games go off without a glitch, and Ron Dayne rushes for 479 yards against the Chelsea Cardinal. On, Wisconsin!!
-- Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 25, 1999
My privatr assessment of y2k is that there are three possibilities: (1) "minor" which means that there is enough infrastructure so that one region of the country can help another region. (2) "major" which means that so many areas are affected that no region can help another, but civil authority holds, or (3) Mad Max, the complete breakdown of society and civil authority.
As someone from Wisconsin, I define "Mad Max" in reference to the bowl games. "A few months after 1/1/00, there will be great joy in Wisconsin when the first group of Badger fans starts to return. It has been a long walk from Pasadena."
***Have a Happy New Year***
-- David Holladay (email@example.com), December 25, 1999.
LOL, David. Lets hope they take the southern route this time of year!
-- Taz (Tassi123@aol.com), December 25, 1999.
news from the local Pasadena paper:
Local hotels have a 10% vacancy rate, but think they may be full by 1- 1-00. The price of Rose Bowl tickets is a mere $100, unlike the $1,500 they were going for two years ago. Speculation is that it is either Y2K worries, or a lack of enthusiasm over the teams playing the Rose Bowl this year. (Wisconsin and somebody)
-- kermit (ex-Badger) (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 26, 1999.
I doubt it's lack of enthusiasm. Wisconsin fans "travel" very well, and Stanford's got loyal and active alums all over SoCal. More likely folks are just playing it safe and have decided to watch the "Grandaddy of Them All" in the comfort and safety of their own homes.
-- Mac (email@example.com), December 26, 1999.