From the September 14th New York Times: The University of Alabama “is rewarding students who attend [home football] games — and stay until the fourth quarter” with priority access to tickets for the post-season. Wait, there’s more. “Alabama is…using location-tracking technology from students’ phones to see who skips out and who stays.”
On September 21st, this new policy almost resulted in a world-class disaster at Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, where the Crimson Tide was playing the University of Southern Mississippi. Here’s what happened, according to University of Alabama Police Chief John Hooks:
“We had a full house at Saturday’s game: 101,821 to be exact. The students in attendance were afraid that if they left their seats to go to the bathroom, the tracking system would report that they had exited the stadium. So, virtually every student wore a ‘stadium buddy’ that day, a device that enables you to urinate while staying in your seat.
“Over the course of the game, the stadium buddies of tens of thousands of students were filling up. Did you know that urine is really high in nitrogen? I didn’t. Well, by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Bryant-Denny Stadium was basically Ground Zero, a massive reservoir of volatile nitrogen just waiting to be ignited. All it would have taken was a tiny leak from one of the containers, trickling a line of pee that encountered a bit of salt from a discarded box of popcorn or random potato chip. The resulting chemical reaction would have been BLAMMO!!!
“I checked with one of our Physics professors, and she said that the explosion would have been visible from Minneapolis, and that the force of the blast would have made the Hiroshima cataclysm look like a butterfly sneeze.
“We dodged a bullet last Saturday,” says Hooks. “Actually, we dodged a lot more than a bullet. It would have been the worst catastrophe in Alabama football since we lost to Notre Dame 37-6 in 1987. We’ve got to change this attendance policy!”
Crimson Tide students appeared to take the near-calamity in stride. When Dwayne “Turnstyle” Willis, a sophomore, heard the news while skateboarding across campus wearing his 24/7 stadium buddy, he simply flashed a big grin and exclaimed, “AWESOME!”