It's not always this way in big-time college athletics.
I doubt fans at many of the 70 schools that made a bowl game this year heard a direct, "thank you" from any one of their athletic director, their president, their booster club director, their alumni association director, their director of governmental relations or the head trainer for athletics.
In just under two hours I heard Dr. Welch, Terry Mohajir, Carter Ford, Beth Smith, Robert Evans, and Ron Carroll all say "thank you for coming" to every person in red and black they got close to. I am sure I would have heard it from Dr. Hudson and system Vice-President Jeff Hankins as well but we never ended up in the same place at the same time.
Ron Carroll wasn't even at the reception at Wintzell's, he was at Felix's Fish Camp. We had headed there after visiting at Wintzell's to avoid a long wait for food. As he was leaving he saw our group and came over to thank us for coming to support the team.
Some confuse acting "big-time" with taking for granted fan support and just assuming (or demanding) the love and adoration of the fans will always be there.
That wasn't the end of the gratitude being shown.
When John Thompson entered Wintzell's the restaurant exploded in applause and cheers. Thompson was clearly taken aback and moved by the out-pouring of support.
The thanks didn't stop there. The staff at Wintzell's was clearly appreciative of the AState fans there. At Felix's Fish Camp our waiter thanked us for coming to Mobile for the game and of course thanked us for coming to that restaurant. A waitress serving other tables, stopped by to thank us for coming back to Mobile.
Many of you may remember my wife and I were in Mobile this summer and when we were here, people asked how the Red Wolves would be this year, they said they hoped would be in the bowl again and an oyster shucker threw up the Red Wolf hand sign and howled when we walked into Wintzell's.
The Red Wolves bowl adventure is off to great start.
There are so few places that are so warm and welcoming to the participating teams. I am afraid our fans will be in for a shock when the day comes that we are selected for a different site.
You can't help but feel proud to be associated with AState with the attitude expressed across the board by our university officials and staff. They truly appreciate your support.
An Attitude of Gratitude
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