Thursday Night Lights?


Student section at the game on the 29th. Photo by Boulder High Yearbook

Cate Landry, Staff Writer

Ringing in the new football season, the Boulder Panthers went head to head with the Fairview Knights in the opening game of the season on Thursday, August 29th. Yet, the match-up against cross-town rival Fairview High School played out in a rather untraditional fashion this year. Instead of being held under the Friday night lights, the highly anticipated event took place on an unassuming Thursday evening. 

Friday night football games have long been a popular tradition at Boulder High School, with the rowdiest students crowding the bleachers, shining in their purple and gold glitter and standing proudly in support of their football team – oftentimes with little regard for the score projected on the scoreboard. 

The scheduling of the games on a Friday allowed many students to celebrate the game long into the night. Thus, the scheduling of this year’s highly-anticipated game caused some concern and frustration for many students. Many students were led to believe that the decision to move the game was an attempt to reduce rampant substance use at football games, due to the extensive history of student intoxication at such events; however, the decision to move a few of this season’s football games (specifically the rival game against Fairview) had nothing to do with the prevention of illegal activity at these games.

In an interview with Athletic Director Eddie Hartnett, he explained that the decision to move the rivalry game was made based on field availability and scheduling. “We want to keep them on Friday nights,” he confirmed. “The only reason why we would move a game is if there is a CU game or another activity that would interfere.” 

In the case of the Boulder vs. Fairview game in late August, Fairview, the home team at the time, elected to schedule the game on Thursday in order to respect the Rocky Mountain Showdown between CU and CSU on Friday. Although this college football game was held at Mile High Stadium in Denver, both high school administrations felt the need to respect the Boulder High and Fairview football fans who also planned to attend the Rocky Mountain Showdown. 

“We know how many people go to the CU games, whether it is kids or parents, and if we had it on Friday night during the CU-CSU game, it would hurt our own attendance and we also want to support the university and have the university support us,” Hartnett said. 

Plus, since many high schools in the league share stadiums with multiple other schools, it would be extremely difficult to allow all the games to be played on Friday nights, which leads to some away games also being held on Thursdays or Saturdays. And while holding a game on a school night might possibly reduce the illegal activities at these games, scheduling and availability seem to be the only true reasons to move the events. 

For those who miss the traditional Friday night lights, do not fear. Only one other football game will be held on a Thursday this season, on October 3rd. The other eight will uphold the longstanding tradition and will be played out under the Friday night lights.