To those who demand it, do you really demand excellence? Then, before demanding it of our sports programs, demand it of yourselves. Why? Because you, as a fan, are a very important part of the success MSU has achieved in the past and will achieve in the future.
Now that you know the why. Here's the how.
And did you also know that, according to the SEC's own figures, the MSU men's basketball had the lowest per home game attendance average in the SEC the past seasons, two of the greatest years in our basketball history? You want numbers? In the year 2001-2002, MSU basketball averaged 5,689 fans per game, which was 97th in the nation. That's right, 97th in the nation. Other than Ole Miss, which averaged 6,782 per game, all the other SEC teams averaged at least 8,500 fans per game. While MSU's attendance increased in the year 2002-2003, MSU was still last in the SEC. Talk all you want about our team underachieving in the NCAA Tournament, but the real underachievers were the MSU basketball fans that sat on their butts at home while our team was playing games in the Hump.
We have over 100,000 alumni and over 48,000 folks who attend games and only 8,500 of them belong to the Bulldog Club. Talk about not demanding excellence. And to those of you who complain about not being contacted about joining the Bulldog Club, pick up the dang phone and call them and ask for an application for membership. I'll make this simple for you as well. Bulldog Club phone number: 1-662-325-3704. Better yet, go to the Bulldog Club site on the internet and download an application. Here's the link: Bulldog Club
Case in point: Alabama. One high profile recruit who pretty much had his mind completely set on signing with MSU was so impressed with all the visual support in the business community of Tuscaloosa, he started to have a serious change of heart about his commitment to MSU. While he eventually signed with MSU, he told me the business community in Starkville could take a lesson or two from the business community in Tuscaloosa because just about every business he went into had all kind of Bama signs and posters on their walls. Heck, even I've noticed that when I've been in stores and restaurants in Tuscaloosa. If you are a Bulldog fan and you own a business in Starkville, go out and buy something that has MSU on it and put it somewhere where folks will see it. Show your MSU pride.
Take the time to get to know the coaches who attend the functions. Even tell the coaches the concerns you have if you have any. There is even a very good chance they will listen to what you say. As an example, one of the new football coaches, defensive coordinator Ron Cooper, mentioned to me the things he was told by MSU alumni that he had talked to while attending a few functions. Several MSU fans voiced their concerns about the lack of discipline on the MSU football team, especially on the defensive side, the past few years. Coach Cooper listened and made it a point to try and change that attitude in meetings and on the practice field this past spring. While writing your concerns on a message board allows you to vent, it will not even begin to solve the problem you are venting about. Talking to a person face to face has a much more realistic chance of starting change than posting on a message board using an anonymous username.
Demanding excellence! Do your part.
Have a great Bulldog week!
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.