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We don’t understand why paying fans leave games early.
Oh, we get the reasons: beat the traffic, get out of the weather, quench a thirst, a distaste for watching the home team lose.
But fans who leave early risk missing highlights.
A spectacular example of that came in the final minute of Friday’s Pac-12 championship game in Eugene. Nelson Rosario, a UCLA receiver who on Friday looked like the NFL player he soon will be, made a stunning one-handed grab for the Bruins’ final touchdown.
It wasn’t one of those pull-it-to-the chest catches. It wasn’t a tap-it-then-catch-it play.
What the 6-foot-5 Rosario did was reach up with his right arm, clutch the ball with his right hand as if it was a suction cup, and reach into the end zone. Oregon’s Terrance Mitchell — who earlier in the fourth quarter made a pretty nice one-armed interception while defending Rosario — had Rosario covered, but was helpless.
Rosario’s catch didn’t impact the outcome. But it was a “Do you believe that?” moment that had to be seen to be believed.
Like it or not, it appears the Pac-12 title game will be a Friday event for a while. Sure, it’s an incovenience for fans. But staging the game on Friday means the conference owns the college football spotlight for a day, and there is real value in that.
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