Disgruntled Fans Still Need to Show Up

I have been reading about the fans that are selling their tickets, throwing in the towel on the team, and just flat out refusing to come to the stadium. Many of these fans are the same ones who are screaming for Dirk Koetter's job to be taken away at the end of this year. Many of these fans are also the same ones complaining about our lack of depth, talent, and sub par recruiting. These fans have a right to complain, but why are they hurting the very program that they so dearly care about?

This weekend we have a football game against the Washington Huskies. Many maroon and gold followers are going to be no-shows, homecoming notwithstanding. They are going to stay home and complain that the game is not on television. Why would a station pick us up when there are only 35,000 people in the stands? If a team cannot even fill their own stadium on a regular basis, there is no reason to believe that people are going to watch the team on television against a doormat team in the conference.

If we had decent attendance all year long then I am sure that we would get more of our games picked up because it gives some leverage to our Athletic Department to convince stations to broadcast our contests. The program not only loses money on your ticket, but also on the extra money that a television coverage would bring. As you are sitting at home complaining about our head coach and our recruiting, remember that the money you could have spent at the game would be that much closer to removing Dirk for one of your prototypical "savior" coaches you have been dreaming about, and paying for one of those three-day recruiting trips into Florida or Texas or Ohio to scout premium talent. All of the changes that you want at Arizona State will never happen unless you continue to fund the school through your game attendance.

The other problem, and in my opinion the more severe, is the lack of attendance in the eyes of recruits. Last couple of homes game we had in two four-star recruits, Stanley Havili and Lee Tilley. When they came into the stadium they were greeted with a half full student section and a very timid crowd. They saw the bottles being thrown into the end zone, they saw and heard the negative comments being thrown at the team from the sidelines. They also heard the chorus of boos being rained down upon the team as they lost games to USC and Oregon.

The USC loss was a bad one, but there is hardly any excuse why the very next game should have been such a poor showing from the fans. Those same fans who stayed at home during the UO game, and the same fans who are probably angry that we do not have a marquee running back who can make third down conversions. Those same fans are probably also complaining about the lack of depth on the offensive line. Funny how both of those things are affected by the fact that they were staying home, while two of the nation's premier players were visiting to see the game atmosphere here at Sun Devil Stadium.

Here is a quote by Stanley Havili from the article "Havili Soaks in visit to Iowa City" by Josh Clark that shows why exactly we cannot land players like this. "The fans at Iowa are just so unbelievable and they really support their team," said Havili. "It was a crazy atmosphere there at Iowa and the Hawkeyes are the only team I care about in the Midwest. Iowa also has a very good academic program." It is clear here that Havili pointed out the atmosphere and the support in contrast to his previous visit with Arizona State without outright saying it. If you want changes in talent and BCS caliber players, then staying at home is never going to solve that problem. Dirk Koetter is bringing in solid prospects again this year, but it means nothing if they come to visit and they see a stadium half full and with poor noise and support.

Please students and families, come on out and support your Devils because we need you this weekend. We once again have premier talent coming in this weekend. They do not need to see a weak performance from the team any more than a weak performance from the crowd. Come out and make a difference. If you want Dirk gone, then come out and show it. If you want a running game, then come out and show it. Whether you are happy with the team or not, you have to support the team in order for things to change. If you know someone who is not coming out of anger, then explain to them why they need to come.

We need butts in the seats, because we know the other top schools in the nation are filling their seats and showcasing their stadium. If you want to keep up with them, we have to match them. It isn't all on the coaches; we have to do our part for the program.

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