This started out innocently enough. UC's Assistant AD Mike Harris called my office late Wednesday night to give a heads up that "traffic pattern onto campus needed to be changed for Saturday night." I asked Mike to explain because frankly I wasn't sure what he was talking about. "We need to change the way traffic comes onto campus because of the crowd that is coming Saturday." I was tempted to let Mike know that he was working at UC and things like overflow crowds for football aren't really an issue, but I held back.
Then it occurred to me, "UC has hit the big time." To be honest I've been waiting for this moment for decades, I just expected it to come with a game winning touchdown or a late season upset over a national power. Who knew that a traffic notice would have had such an affect?
Over the past 72 hours UC has changed the rules about standing in Nippert's concourse, too many people for that these days. Dozens of vendors are being added to walk thru the stands selling whatever we will buy from them. The administration is suspiciously quiet about the expected crowd for Saturday nights yet they are changing the way they have done business in forever.
Let me ask a few question. Do you take the time, effort, and man power to change traffic patterns when you think 25,000 are showing up? I don't think so. Do you hire more workers than you ever have before for 30,000? Not likely. Do you go all out when that nagging feeling in your gut says that this universities alumni, the city, the students, and the fan base have finally awaken from their fifty year slumber? You bet you do!
The Bearcats are playing a winless team Saturday, yet preparation continues late on Wednesday night. UC's little secret is out, they won't say it but they are expecting a full house. I'm going to say for them right now, they expect a sell out! Read it again, UC is expecting a sell out! Whether they get it or not is irrelevant, the important note is that they felt the need to prepare for it.
And why not? This team has outscored its first three opponents 140 to 16. That's not winning, that's winning with style. Not since Sid Gillman roamed the Nippert sidelines has there been this much anticipation for a Bearcat game. The Bearcats have hit the big time!
UC's marketing campaign this year is "Come Early, Be Loud, and Where Black." They might need to change that to "Buy your tickets in advance, Come really early, Be loud, and Where Black."
If you don't have your tickets yet, you might want to go ahead and call today. Saturday is more than a game. It is the beginning, the beginning of Bearcat Nation! Don't miss it.