We find ourselves somewhat annoyed by the LED lighting on boundary fences surrounding sports fields, but we will not mention any of the advertising culprits specifically, other than to mention that one of the offenders has a name that corresponds to the number of days in a year that is not a leap year.
Regardless of who is doing it, when you watch a game of television, the distraction of the scrolling ads of the fences is beyond ridiculous.
We are in fine company with that complaint, as premiership footy Coach Paul Roos considers the use of the message board slash playing field boundary devices, in Roos’ words, “unacceptable.”
The issue for players is one where collisions with the fences often leads to various injuries, injuries that would not be sustained were the barriers made of proper cushioning material.
The Geelong Cats would agree with us, as those fences caused cuts requiring stiches to Mark Blicavs and Zach Tuohy when the Cats were playing the Gold Coast Eagles at the new sports Xanadu of Optus Stadium.
Blicavs required 14 stiches to his hand and elbow.
“Hang on, hang on, hang on — that’s unacceptable,” Roos told Fox Footy’s On The Couch. “Let’s not talk about approval and distance … we’ve had two blokes run into the fence — one’s had 14 stitches. “It’s unacceptable — find a solution.”
Advertisers pay prime money to have their logos and messages displayed in a prominent manner. The ability of the message boards to change only increases their revenue generation capacity, so leagues might be reluctant to give up that money stream, unless someone provides a positive link between the signs and concussions, or some unfortunate soul puts his eye out.
The problem, according to Cats’ Coach Chris Scott, is that the signs have sharp edges when new. That issue subsides somewhat over time, but the boundaries are still quite solid.
Perhaps a TV advert with Gary Ablett using one of the signs to shave his head would get the message across.