Need to make a million dollars in three months? Happen to run a big, top-10-all-time football program? Great news, the solution appears to be rather simple — sell beer.
Ohio State and Texas both reported that they did more than $1 million in beer and wine sales this season. It was Ohio State’s first with alcohol sales at Ohio Stadium (after a limited test run last season), and they seemed to be so happy with it that news of sales started to trickle out after just three home games.
The Columbus Dispatch had the final tally earlier this month:
University officials said this week that sales topped $1.1 million for the season. A limited test of beer sales was made the previous season. The wide rollout appears to have gone smoothly despite some initial concerns, as OSU officials report they actually experienced fewer problems with fans at games this year than in previous years.
Down in Texas, the UT Athletic Department generated $3.1 million in revenue, up 70 percent over last year, and netted $1.3 million. But my favorite part from this Austin American-Statesman report is the detailed breakdown of what people purchased:
Miller Lite is still the beer of choice for Texas fans sitting in the stands, but it’s a close race with Coors Light. Fans bought 98,535 Miller Lites this season compared to 62,275 sold in 2015. That alone brought in $788,280 in revenue.
Fans bought 95,096 Coors Lights during the season, generating $761,168 in revenue. Coming in a distant third was Bud Light. Texas sold only 34,257 of those, according to UT records.
Want to know what doesn’t sell? Budweiser. The once-proud “King of Beers” is almost a non-starter with the UT crowd. Texas sold 89 cans of Bud all season. Fans cracked open 1,411 Shiner Bocks and 741 Michelob Ultras, by comparison. And fans guzzled 952 Lone Stars.
Rough year for the King of Beers, which I maintain is, as far as bland macro brews go, actually pretty decent.
I don’t have a strong feeling one way or another on beer sales at college stadiums, but with numbers like those — at two programs that don’t really need an extra $1 million the way many do — I don’t think it will be long before more programs jump on board.
Reverse Court Storming
In case you missed it last night, the North Dakota men’s basketball team, near the end of its 84-73 loss at Iowa, committed one of the most egregious violations of sporting etiquette you will ever see. If you’re reading this with your kids, have them look away. It’s not for impressionable eyes.
Here’s the video:
North Dakota, down 11, tried to beat the buzzer.
Fran McCaffery wasn't a fan, so he had Iowa walk off the court. https://t.co/PLkItzgxq0
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) December 21, 2016
Yes, that’s it. At the end of an 11-point game, with Iowa holding the ball and content to run out the clock, a North Dakota player went for a meaningless steal that resulted in a meaningless hoop that didn’t count anyway. The only people this could’ve mattered to are those in Vegas and apparently Iowa head coach Fran McCaffrey, who whisked his team off the floor without shaking hands.
“I told my guys I was proud of them, but you can’t get caught up in it. The game’s over,” McCaffrey said. “We don’t need (Peter Jok) getting knock to the floor,” the Iowa coach said. “Guys getting up in (Jordan Bohannon’s) face. Nicholas Baer’s head getting chopped off. We don’t need it. Game’s over. Move on.”
An Iowa reporter asked McCaffrey, after he had referred to the incident in a general sense, to describe what had angered him more concretely and McCaffrey pulled the old “were you at the game?” move, which is crap. It’s what people do when they can’t explain why they’re so irrationally angry, so good on that reporter for asking.
And bad on Fran for dismissing it. If you’re going to make a spectacle of the end of the game, at least be willing to replay just what set you off. Was it a silly individual play on North Dakota’s part? Sure. Was it an injury risk? In the way that every basketball play is, I guess, and I suppose the point is that no more basketball plays needed to be made at that point.
Seems like the sort of thing that could’ve been conveyed in a quick post-game conversation, however, rather than by storming off the court.
Anyway, happy holidays everyone.
The Grab Bag
- ICYMI I: Here is yesterday’s football practice report, which includes some good nuggets on the present and future of Nebraska’s offense and defense.
- ICYMI II: Nebrasketball got a win over Southern yesterday thanks in part to 18 points off the bench from freshman Jeriah Horne. Here’s the game story, photos, quotes and Jacob Padilla’s column. (Last link is premium.)
- The NCAA hit Rutgers’ football program with a Notice of Allegations yesterday.
- Tennessee’s backup right guard, Venzell Boulware, will miss the Music City Bowl.
- Butch Jones’ says the Vols’ Nebraska game plan is installed and Tennessee could play tomorrow if it wanted.
Today’s Song of Today
No. 8 on this mangy year-end countdown of my favorite songs of 2016. Play this when you need to feel warm. (Also, if you’re interested in an end-of-year albums discussion, I threw that in a premium thread over here.)
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.