Support is Needed Most in Times Like This

Does attendance help determine school success, or does school success help determine attendance? I personally feel that both feed off of each other in a positive manner, or a negative manner. When a team plays bad, is it fair for a crowd to turn their backs and leave? When the crowds don't show up, is it fair for the team to turn their backs and not play with as much heart?

The last thing a crowd wants to see is their football team get beat at home. It is the worst feeling in the world sitting in a stadium after a full day of being prepared for watching a good game, and having your team lay a huge egg. However, most fans do not realize that there is another game next week, or that there is more game next year.

The thing that is lacking in a majority of fan bases, especially ASU's one, is patience. That does not mean that fans should accept losing, or that they should accept mediocrity from their program. What is does mean is that the necessary changes will come when the time is right for them to be made. I do not think it is fair for the fans to "quit" on the team and stop showing up once things go bad in a season.

What happens when the team makes the needed changes (coaching staff, player personnel, facilities), and the lack of stadium support makes those changes worthless? For example, I heard a fan on a local radio station claim that he stormed out of Sun Devils stadium because the talent level was just not equal to Oregon and that the effort was embarrassing. Did that fan realize that his attendance, his support of the PROGRAM not the team, is what makes marks for recruits visiting? What are all of those fans going to say when eight of the nine of the recruits in attendance go somewhere else to play football? They are not going to say anything; they are only going to blame the coaching staff for not getting them. What happens when the recruits make a decision on their school solely on game day atmosphere, and they remember the pathetic example of support from Arizona State fans? Oh, it still won't be their fault, it will be the team's fault for playing bad and making them leave the stadium.

To a certain extent it is the team's fault for disgruntled fans. They are not playing up the capabilities of their talent, and the fans have a right to be upset over that. However, what if a player told you that a full stadium of supportive fans is exactly what they need to get over that hump of mediocrity. Maybe the fans need to start acting like fans of a top 25 program, and the team will respond in kind. I do not know the answers of why this team has been playing the way they have been. I do know for a fact that a ¾ full stadium full of fans waiting to step down on the throats of their own team is not what is needed for a program to succeed.

As I said in my first statement, is it fair for the team to quit on its fans when they don't show up? Is it fair for the team to bandwagon off of the support of their fans? Yes I understand fans pay money to see these kids play, but these kids are not getting paid to play and they are working eight months out of the year to play hard for themselves and the fans. When half of the reason they play hard turns on them, why should they play any harder than the desire within them?

I know this article is perhaps poorly constructed and my thoughts are all over the place, so I apologize for that. I also am aware that the way this team is playing is inexcusable. All I am saying is that maybe things would be different with a different fan base, in a different stadium atmosphere.

Do I think things will turn around this season? I honestly cannot say that I know where this season will end up at this point. What I do know is that we are only 3-2, and there is still hope for a good finish if we rally behind the TEAM and the PROGRAM, not rally around the coaches or anything else. If anything, rally behind your alma mater, rally behind the Maroon and Gold. Those colors will be flying long after all these players graduate and long after these coaches are gone whether that is next year or in 50 years.

Do your part as a Sun Devil; do not abandon the team out of hate for the coaching, because even if the coach

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