Watching this Hawkeye basketball team this season has been very painful once the Big Ten season began. That's the feeling of not only the alumni, but also the students here at the University of Iowa. Not only was this season being pumped up to be a possible Final Four appearance, it was also the first season where the student section had grown popular enough to gain over 2,000 students.
In the pre-season, the media and the alumni hyped the this basketball team greatly. The students also were excited about the prospects. However, no one considered the possibility of a disappointing season. Now that very reality has set in with Hawk fans. Therefore, it is not surprising to see the decreasing attendance in the Hawks Nest.
Sophmore Nathan Dorzweiler has not bought season tickets for the Hawks Nest the past two seasons, but instead has decided to go $20 less for the regular student section. HawkTalkOnline.com caught up with him to see his viewpoint as to why he does not pay the extra for the Hawks Nest after being an Iowa City native and City High graduate.
"To join the Hawk's Nest I would want to be sure that all of the fans are actual basketball fans, not people that are just there for a social event," Nathan stated.
"I have watched the student section progress from an organized, but loud group into an unorganized, but quiet group. The only thing that has changed is that everyone wears the same t-shirt, like its some kind of cult or something."
Ryan Jennings, a freshman at the University of Iowa, decided to join the Hawks Nest. However, he has not found himself attending many games this season.
"I haven't gone to many games this year because I've gone home on the weekends, and well, because how our team is doing," Ryan said. This year, I thought that with being a part of the Hawks Nest, it would have been a cool experience, and with the hype, and future of this program especially for this year, one to remember. Well, I can say when we won in the beginning of the year, and a bunch of the Hawk's Nest was there, then a sense of family, or togetherness was present. Those times you could really feel the crowd pulling together as one. But now that has died, and I would just rather watch the games from my dorm room in Burge. To tell you the truth, the $120 that I spent on season tickets was the biggest waste of money that the University has acquired from me so far."
One disadvantage Ryan believes is the placement of the Hawks Nest. He would like to see a move similar to that of Duke.
"I think that improvement to the Hawks Nest could, and should be a possibility. I think that the present placement of the Hawks nest is the most awful place that could have been chosen for the group of rowdy college students. They should move the nest to the side opposite of the benches, and they should fill up all of the rows all the way across, and then move up. After all, it's the students team first, isn't?"
Freshman Matthew Mueller echoed the same opinions of the students above. In fact, he even brought up a few new ideas to HawkTalkOnline.com.
"I like how Syracuse organizes there student section," Matt said. "If a student does not show up to the games, he moves to a worse seat. I think the University should give indvidual game tickets for students so if they cannot come, they are able to sell the tickets. Also, general admission would be more attractive if they were placed near the Hawks Nest."
"Many of the Hawks Nest's struggles this year are directly related to the problems that the team is having. Therefore, I think that many people believe the games are no longer worth the time to attend. Also, for many people the games are more of a social event than a sporting event. Too often you see Nesters chatting with their friends and not paying attention to the action on the court."
HawkTalkOnline.com welcomes any other students or current season ticket holders to express their opinions on the Basketball Forum.
After this year, something will need to be done in the off-season to help make the Hawks Nest more attractive. Heck, even Matthew Mueller seemed to think that there is somebody on campus with the ability to spark up the Hawks Nest.
"Make Dan Gable a permanent fixture at the front of the Nest. His intensity is bound to add to the Nest."