New Video Board Scheme Advantages Auburn
Auburn Video Board – Twisting Pixels into Points
The Aggies of Texas A&M surrendered the title of largest video board when Auburn erected a 10,830 square footer at Jordan-Hare Stadium this summer. At 190 feet wide and 57 feet tall, Auburn’s Video Board is the largest in college football and joins volcanic eruptions, phytoplankton blooms and man-made Palm Island in Dubai among the top massive things on Earth that can be seen from space. Ok, so that last part is an exaggeration, but you get the point, this thing is grisly and according to Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn, it will be a “Big factor,” in the games.
Just how big a factor depends on how close to the edge the 40 men and women on the Jumbo Tron committee tasked with choosing the videos and music dare go. It’s expected they will improve the game-day experience, increase ticket sales and help recruiting. Push the pixels past the edge of propriety and they may find themselves and athletic director Jay Jacobs explaining to SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in his first football season since replacing the retired Mike Slive, why his phone rings off the hook with complaints of unsportsmanlike conduct after every Auburn home game. Not by players on the field, but by the unfair scheme on the video-board towering over it. Complaints by opponents claiming the precisely pointed pixels were used for an unfair home-field advantage.
Positioned in the South End Zone Auburn’s video-board is impossible for the players to ignore, including the Auburn players. Auburn is practicing in Jordan-Hare Stadium with the board dancing above them, so that the players can get accustomed to its distractions. Unlike noise distractions like the earsplitting cowbells at Mississippi State or the 101+ thousand blaring fans at Bryant-Denny, this colossal video-board cannot be duplicated by other teams at their practices – no way to prepare for the new visual villain. It will be like watching teams take the field at Jerry World in Arlington, Texas for the first time – the players are looking up to the sky at the big screen for most of the game. But there is a big difference, the AU Video Board is just above the stands in the South End Zone and encompasses almost the entire end zone. It will be in their vision during plays, particularly kicks and passes where they will be looking right into the screen for the ball.
The key for the Auburn video board will be to use it to their advantage without being so in your face that rule changes for video boards come raining down from the rules committees of the SEC or NCAA. So what could Auburn do to influence the game with the new video board?
Pointing Pixels – Preventing Points
Most Obvious: Imagine when Auburn is punting to an opponent in the North End Zone. As the punt returner looks up into the sky toward the South to field the punt, the screen has a pre-recorded sky from five minutes earlier that mirrors the sky color and cloud formations among them are several super imposed images of footballs flying through the sky that mimic long high punts, short punts or just shanked punts, so that the return man loses track of which ball is the real one. While this may sound like a great idea to Auburn Fans, before the chest bumps consider the consequences. Any scheme like that would be so obvious and totally unethical it would likely invoke fines and rule changes faster than Gus chews through a pack of gum.
Auburn Video Board More Subtle Tricks
Less Obvious: When an Auburn opponent is driving the ball towards the South End Zone with the Video Board in their face, quickly changing the screen from dark images to bright images before the snap of the ball or after the ball is in play could temporarily blind the opponent or make them see spots similar to the flash of a camera, but a 10,830 square foot camera. Will we start seeing shaded face shields on helmets showing up at Auburn?
Less Obvious: When Auburn is driving toward the south end zone, the tron operators display the live action on the field. The Auburn ball carrier can peek up at the Auburn video board to see how far behind him the defender is. Flip side, when the opponent is driving, the video-board could become the cheer leader, urging the crowd to yell, “Defense,” “Defense,” not displaying the live field feed at all thus preventing them from peeking up and seeing the distance of the Auburn player about to make the tackle.
Less Obvious: The Auburn video board shows a live feed from the field, zooming in on the opposing team’s quarterback as he is about to take the snap of the ball, distracting him if just for a second. Or any other distracting image for that matter, such as images of the Dance Team. The dance team from Oregon, that is.
Curious how far Auburn takes this video board to their advantage twirling whatever they want in their opponent’s faces at just the right time to distract, mesmerize, intimidate and temporarily take an opponent’s mind off of the next play. Even a momentary distraction to say in the back of their mind “Wow!” could be a game-changer. Regardless of the content, the amount of light coming off the Auburn Video board from 8.7 million LED lights may affect their vision at certain critical moments turning pixels into points for Auburn.
With the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide both at Auburn’s home field this year, if the new video board contributes to another “Prayer in Jordan-Hare” or another “Kick Six” showcase , it would be worth the $1.60 per LED light Auburn paid for it.
One thing’s for sure, it’s going to distract teams. How Auburn uses that to their advantage is as anticipated by Auburn fans this year as the game itself.
What do you think about Auburn’s Video Board?
Tell us what you think and give us some examples of how you would use the new Auburn video board for an additional home field advantage.