Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Summerville Green Wave fans, you might want to take a pass on this column. Iím about to trash your football stadium.
I was not impressed, and this has nothing to do with the 36-12 butt whipping of Aug. 31. Anybody could have done that.
A thought hit me as I walked up a steep hill from where Iíd parked over a mile and a half away because thereís no place to park in Summerville. I remembered as I approached the press gate that I lived in an area where hills donít exist and wondered, what possessed these people to stick a football field on a hill?
I can understand if Summerville was located in the Upstate somewhere in the foothills of the Appalachians.
But here? This is the Lowcountry. Itís flat here. That means no hills.
And the flat here goes clear to Orangeburg, which means Summerville is covered with flat. They had plenty of flat room, so why did the Green Wave faithful decide to put their field on the only high spot in the road? They probably didnít want to disturb the azaleas.
The concrete stair-stepped grandstands are a throwback to World War II sports stadium designs. Back then everything was done in concrete. From baseball bleachers to dirt track grandstands, you had stair-stepped cement.
I can attest personally that there are few things better on which to sit at the end of a 99-degree day than sunbaked concrete.
So with all the wide-open spaces Green Wave fans had to erect a football stadium, you picked this spot.
I see a whole bunch of flat leading from here to I-26 that back around World War II was nothing but flat space holding lodge pole pines. Any one of those spots would have made a great football field.
But as I finish my mile and a half hike, I see a hill. I would have been less surprised seeing aliens landing on Berlin Myers Parkway.
Also, for a guy that leads every single breathing human being on the planet in football wins, I think you could do a better job of paying him homage by giving him a better field that bears his name.
First, I understand we had torrential downpours last week from Tropical Storm Isaac. It flooded downtown Charleston, but then Charleston floods during full moons so Iím not surprised when they said everything south of Broad was underwater.
I just didnít expect McKissick Field to be underwater because itís ON A HILL.
And it wasnít just water.
I smelled septic.
Someone tipped the Port-a-Potty.
The turf more resembled a soaked green sponge. You take a step and brackish brown water seeps up over your ankles.
Then there is maybe 15 feet of extra room on the sidelines and God help the player that gets sideline tackled. After those 15 feet stands a concrete wall.
You have maybe 18 inches of spare room in the end zones. On one end thereís a scoreboard with a big screen TV and a fence. On the other end, another hill. A diving catch for a touchdown here and you just planted yourself without the benefit of a shovel.
I understand home field advantages.
In the old Boston Garden they would turn the visitorís locker room thermostat up to 85 degrees.
At Wrigley FieldÖ well, letís just not go there with Wrigley Field. The best renovation you could do there begins and ends with a wrecking ball.
The same could be said for Memorial Stadium. †