TURLOCK — For as long as Cal State Stanislaus has been playing basketball in its current gym, fans have complained about the hardness of the bleachers.
Yes, it’s the same comments you’ll hear in every gym where the seating areas are backless hardwood planks.
But this year, the Warriors athletic department decided to address that part of the fan anatomy and during last weekend’s games fans were given seat cushions.
Terrific idea, but there was something different about the design. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a seat cushion with large faces on either side.
One side had an illustration of the face of men’s coach Larry Reynolds, and the other was graced by the smiling face of women’s coach Wayman Strickland.
When asked about the seat cushion, both coaches laughed, but also indicated they weren’t entirely comfortable with the idea of having their faces provide strategic cushioning for fans.
“I knew they were on the horizon,” Strickland said. “I wasn’t really happy when I saw it for the first time during our Christmas party, so it was a very funny joke on me. But you have to know that Larry and I both have great senses of humor.”
And Reynolds had pretty much the same viewpoint.
“About a month ago I was in the office and they showed me the idea,” Reynolds said. “How do I feel about it? On the record? On the record it’s a great idea, a great promotion. Anything to bring the fans in.”
So if you’re a fan, you choose where you want to sit, place the cushion on the bleacher and the last thing you see before sitting down is the smiling face of one of the coaches.
At that point, do you take a moment to stop and choose the side of the cushion you’d prefer to be face-up?
“It’s a great promotion, it helps market our program and it’s a lot easier to take now that we’re winning,” Strickland said. “I’m smiling on the seat cushion and I’m smiling now.”