September 27, 2007

This is Madness! No, it's the Abnormal Crowd Distribution

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Over 10,000 people saw the football team trounce Bucknell in its home opener on Sept. 15, but probably 7,000 people were sitting in the wrong seats. Even worse, all of these people are suffering from a severe ailment. Yes, there is a serious illness going around this University that especially affects those in the Cornell community who attend games at Schoellkopf Field. The ailment is called Abnormal Crowd Distribution (ACD). I’ve made it my mission to eradicate this plague.
The symptoms of ACD are clear. On the crescent side of Schoellkopf Field, the fans are disproportionately more densely populated towards the North side (the Lynah Rink side) of the stadium than the south side. This makes for a very uneven crowd. There are tons of people sitting at about the 20- and 30-yard lines of the north side of the stadium. However, very few people sit at even the 40-yard line of the South side, meaning the crowd is abnormally distributed towards the North.
This ACD epidemic first became apparent to me when I covered men’s lacrosse last year. Every time the lacrosse team played in a big game, the gigantic crowd on the Cornell side took an unusual shape. I had a clear view of this madness from the press box on the other side of the field. My friends likened me to Ingrid Berman’s character from the film Gaslight. They said I was a hypochondriac; I was angry they compared me to a Swedish actress. They say ACD doesn’t exist. I say they are in denial.
This really bothers me, though I understand the root cause of the problem. The entrance to Schoellkopf Field is near the North side, so fans are too lazy to walk to the other side of the field. They think that seeing a game at the 20-yard line of the North side gives them a clear view of the field; they are very wrong.
Why does this bother me so much? I think that opposing teams and fans might come into the stadium and laugh at us because our crowd doesn’t know how to form correctly. I think that many hard-working Cornell students who spend their hard-earned three dollars (which they could have used to buy Weird Science on DVD) to see a Red football game deserve to see the field in its entirety.
That’s why I have made it my mission to combat ACD. I have been working very hard with the researchers at Weill Medical College to come up with an anecdote to this horrible disease. At first, we considered forcing all students to watch highlights of last week’s Eagles’ yellow and blue throwback jerseys, which not only were borrowed from the Swedish national hockey team, but were so horrid that I thought my TV had taken a heavy dose of LSD. Second, we tried the Lodovico Treatment from A Clockwork Orange on the test subjects. Instead of showing them lewd films, though, we showed them repeated videos of former Jets quarterback Neil O’Donnell’s greatest career passes. Unfortunately, a couple of our subjects were so distraught that they quit, so we had to try something else. Next, we gave them a script of the film Any Given Sunday and asked them to pick out the inaccuracies. Unfortunately, those students are still working on the test to this day.
None of those potential remedies worked and all our test subjects still had the symptoms of ACD. They just loved sitting at the 20-yard line of the North side. We were stumped until one colleague of mine had the bright idea of blasting Sepultura songs from the North side of Schoellkopf Field to try and dissuade people from sitting there. Unfortunately, we were all docked with a noise violation, and have to appear in court next week. One of the researchers also had an open Petri dish and got an open container violation as well.
After all these attempts, I decided to give up trying to come up with medical remedies for ACD on my own. Instead, I thought I’d organize a benefit to raise money for the issue. Then, maybe we could hire someone really skilled to create a cure. That’s why I’ve organized a Concert for ACD Remedy (CAR) on Nov. 10. I’ve booked a number of talented performers for the CAR. It will be hosted by Tony Danza, and feature musical performances by Bernie Williams, The Eurythmics, Dio and special guest Sting. Frankly, I’m not sure why Sting decided to come. He said yes before I could even tell him what the benefit was for.
The only other way I can think of to eliminate this ACD is to call students into action. First, go to Gannett and get yourself tested. You don’t have to be over 18 to get a test, and your parents will never know about it. Second, when homecoming comes around in a few weeks, I want everyone to make a concerted effort to sit on the South side of Schoellkopf Field. That way, there will be an even number of fans on both sides of the stadium. Our crowd will look more professional, the cheers will sound like they are in stereo and everyone will have a better view of the game. And most importantly, I’ll be happy.
My one concern is that if ACD is eradicated, everyone will then sit on the South side of the stadium, and the disease will mutate into a Reverse Abnormal Crowd Distribution (RACD). Frankly, it better not. In the words of ACD advocate Sting, I’ll be watching you.