One of the things that bothers me about modern society is how little we understand what was required to give us what we have. We don't realize the work that was required to get that hamburger onto our plate. If we did, we probably wouldn't be so upset about how little it costs us to enjoy it! Have you ever wondered what it takes to host a basketball game? Have you ever contemplated how many people were involved in putting on the presentation that you enjoyed so immensely?
Obviously there need to be a few players on the court, five per side to be exact. I actually watched a game this year in which one of the teams only had five players. It was a women's game between UNO and Dallas Christian. Dallas Christian is a small school that plays in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). They had lost a few girls to injuries, to marriage, and to not wanting to play anymore. They were hoping to add a few more girls to the team when they got back to school for the 2nd semester. One of the girls was a mother of two in her mid-30's who had been in Iraq twice and was headed to Afghanistan after the season. This isn't about them at all, but they do always remind me that you only need five. Most of the time there will be at least ten per team though, so that gives us twenty people required. There have to be coaches for both teams, and these days that can easily reach staffs of five. So between players and coaches alone we have around 30 people.
Then there is the support staff required for the game. We need officials (four) and scorers (two probably) and trainers (let's say two more). There's probably a facilities manager around and a few assistants who help set things up. We definitely need a public address announcer. If you can't make the game you will want to listen to it on the radio, so we need a couple of announcers, maybe a color commentator, and people to run the board back at the station. If there's a video feed online we'll need another four people to run those cameras and the board for that. Together that's probably another 20 people.
We need people to sell the tickets (two) and staff the will call (another two). Now that those tickets are sold someone better be there to scan the tickets at the door (another two) and we better have security to make sure once those people get inside they are safe. Snacks are going to be vital during this game so there need to be seven or eight people working the concessions stand. If we're going to have some half-time entertainment we might get the dance team to come out and do a routine. That's another ten girls probably, not to mention the ten cheerleaders who are at the game. All of these people make another 36.
I forgot to mention the media relations people earlier, they're very important in helping the media cover the game. Hopefully each team sent theirs to the game. We need a few photographers from the school, the student newspaper, the town paper, and the television station. Then of course there is the beat writer who will be turning in a story on tonight's game for the paper. Most games have some form of entertainment during the timeouts so we probably need the Marketing Director to be there, along with a couple of assistants to make sure things go smoothly. That's another 12 people to count.
Adding up everyone we've covered so far we're basically at a hundred people to put the game on now. This count is what I'd estimate for a game at UNO so I'm sure if your school draws more than 700 fans a game you probably see a bigger staff. I'd don't think it'd be a stretch to say for every 10-15 fans at a game there is probably someone involved in putting the game on.
So why did I choose to write about this when recapping the UNO basketball game against Doane on February 5th? The attendance was a whopping... 179! Yep, the attendance didn't crack the Mendoza line. There were some extenuating circumstances that weekend. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon and was pushed back to Sunday afternoon due to a snowstorm. The roads were better on Sunday, but no one who was on the fence about coming was eager to venture out into the snow. As I did play-by-play of the game on the internet for UNO I couldn't help but think of how few people had come to see the game and how many were there to make sure the game happened. It wouldn't surprise me if it took 80 people to make the game happen; all so 180 people could watch it!
Next season, when you go to a game, take notice of how many people are making the fun evening possible for you. If you get a chance to, tell them thanks for making it possible. If it wasn't for everyone else doing their job, our experience as fans wouldn't be the same.
at NEBRASKA-OMAHA 79, DOANE 68 02/05/2012
NEBRASKA-OMAHA 9-15 (0-0) -- M. Leonard 10-12 1-2 21; J. Karhoff 4-11 3-6 11; M. Albers 10-16 0-0 22; C. Steffensmeier 3-5 0-0 8; C. Carter 3-9 3-4 9; A. Welhouse 4-12 2-3 12; M. Hagerbaumer 1-1 0-0 2; J. Coleman 1-2 2-2 4; B. Freeman 1-3 3-4 5; J. Ring 0-1 0-0 0; I. Gandy 1-3 0-0 3; T. Egli 0-0 0-0 0; M. Farr 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 29-64 13-19 79.
Three-point goals: - , NEBO 8-19 (C. Carter 0-1; J. Coleman 0-1; C. Steffensmeier 2-4; I. Gandy 1-2; B. Freeman 0-1; M. Albers 2-4; A. Welhouse 2-5; M. Farr 1-1); Rebounds: , NEBO 40 (A. Welhouse 9); Assists: , NEBO 15 (C. Carter 4); Total Fouls -- , NEBO 10; Fouled Out: -; NEBO-None.