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I’ve been working on some film stuff from the West Virginia game today, but I keep getting distracted by the sun reflecting off the empty bleachers of Bill Snyder Family stadium. It appears the team showed up on Saturday, but the crowd decided to stay home.
I don’t get it.
I’m not sure what else you’re looking for in terms of the college football experience. You’ve got a good, exciting (at least in my opinion), already bowl eligible team, on a three-game (now four-game) win streak, featuring the most dynamic running back in the nation, a veteran quarterback willing to put his life on the line for EMAW (only slightly exaggerating), and the nations leader in sacks putting out for you on the field. If you only showed me clips of the stands, I would guess they were taken at the stadium of a 2-6 M.A.C. team, not the home field of a 6-3 Big12 team that claims to care about football.
Before you start with the excuses, I present my evidence.
Man, what? I should be looking at a sea of screaming purple and white shirts thirsting for blood on 3rd and long with King Felix lined up like a rampaging bull. Instead I’m looking at a sparsely populated middle and upper deck with plenty of elbow room.
Seriously guys, this is best you can do for this team? Did everyone decided to take a bathroom break at the same time?
Malik Knowles, one of the most dynamic kick returners in the nation is about to break off a crucial return to the cheers of dozens (I’m feeling generous) fans. It’s sad man. Not only did a 1⁄4 of the crowd not show up, the folks that did show decided to leave at halftime and couldn’t be bothered to get back into their seats in time to catch the opening kick of the second half.
I talk plenty of smack about the Sooners and Longhorns, but you don’t see this in Norman, and you only see this in Austin when they’re getting smoked by Kansas. Maybe those teams have a point? If Kansas State fans don’t care enough about football to show up at the games, maybe those teams are better off playing in a conference that regularly packs 80K+ into college football stadiums (many off which are also located in the middle of nowhere) on the regular.
Imagine being a 4* recruit on the sidelines at this game and seeing nothing but empty seats. You want to land recruits with options? This ain’t it man. The stadium only holds 50K, it should be standing room only for this game. You should have to crowd surf to the bathroom, instead, you can spread out in the stands like you’re at home on the couch. It doesn’t matter that the stadium only holds 50K if that’s a packed-in 50K going nuts. In fact, sometimes that’s more intimidating...but a 3⁄4 full stadium that loses another 5-10K for most of the 3rd quarter won’t get you very far in the world of recruiting. Wildcat fans demand, as far as I can tell, good football. When things don’t go well, people get extremely upset and call for everyone, including the mascot, to be fired on the field. When things do go well, the reaction isn’t nearly as enthusiastic.
If the stadium isn’t packed this weekend for a match-up against a Top 10 team on Senior Day, I’ll lose all hope.
Don’t give me the “fall break” excuse. You can wait an extra day before running home to mommy and daddy. Your home town will still be standing if you don’t get home Friday night for fall break. You’re paying a pretty penny for the “college experience” and college football is part of that experience. You can stay home, take on-line classes, and come out ahead if you’re not interested in the “college experience”. Even if you don’t like football, you can show up and Wabash Cannonball along with your fellow Wildcats. In some ways, it’s not about football, it’s about community. The football, for many of my friends, was an excuse to get together and hang out with 80K of our friends (and Clemson was not good when I was in school). Maybe I’m getting old, but I still feel like a little school spirit and good old fashioned human contact is good for the soul. Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok will still be a thing when the game is over.
If you’re reading this and you have tickets...please show up to the event you have reserved a seat to experience. If you’re reading this and you have tickets, but can’t show up for reasons outside of your control...give them to someone who can show up. That’s right, give them away instead of eating them. If you purchase a ticket and don’t attend, that means the capacity of the stadium is now 49,999. Multiply that by 5K and you get bunch of shiny bleachers cheering on the team you “support”. If you don’t know anyone willing to buy or take your tickets, contact the ticket office. I’m sure they’ll help you find a home for them. This isn’t a difficult concept folks.
Halftime is short. If everyone leaves, it also takes time to get everyone back into the stadium. Please don’t spend the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half going back through the security line you fought your way through once already. If jogging to your car to chug 2 light beers is that important to you, please reassess your life.
I hate having to waste my time writing stupid stuff like “please use the tickets you purchased to watch your good football team play and don’t miss most of the second half because you really need to pound a Coors Light at halftime” but it needs to be said.
This team deserves your support. It’s sad that I’ve got to type that. Maybe I can shame a few folks into showing up on Saturday.