Yager turnout a decent start
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 01:09
Last Friday The Miami Student’s Joe Gieringer wrote a column called “Miami University’s teams need student support.” As an employee in the athletic department who sees the embarrassing turnouts at all sporting events (with the obvious exception of hockey), I could not agree more.
Saturday’s 14-0 loss to the University of Cincinnati (UC) was not a sell out in the student section, but it was much better than the small, quiet turnouts at last year’s games.
While standing on the sideline I turned around all game to watch the students cheer and chant because it was truly a foreign experience to me (though I’m glad they were there). The players feed off of crowd excitement. I vividly remember junior wide receiver Dawan Scott turning towards the crowd and raising his arms to the crowd to get louder when the RedHawks were about to start a critical play.
As an employee, I attended every football game last year and this year, home and away, and I cannot express how important a home field advantage can be.
Miami’s first game this year was in Huntington, WV against Marshall University and the Thundering Herd had overwhelming support from their home crowd. Every time Miami had the ball the fans yelled so loudly that Miami often began plays with silent counts. The home crowd should be the 12th man: that’s why it is referred to as advantage.
Saturday’s game was not only the home opener at Yager Stadium; it was a beautiful day for a football game, AND it was against a rival that Miami has played 118 times since 1888. The stadium should be packed, no matter the records of the teams.
That isn’t the case. Like I said earlier, the student section was better than the typically embarrassing crowd that shows up, but over half of the students left after UC took a 14-0 lead with under five minutes remaining. I would really like to know what is so important that fans cannot stick around for the final whistle.
My mind goes back to the NBA playoffs when fans left the arena when the Miami Heat were losing by a lot, and were denied reentry when the Heat battled back and eventually won.
Miami did not end up winning The Battle for the Victory Bell, but the same fans who left early were the ones who were chanting “I believe we will win” after UC scored its touchdown to go up 7-0.
Like Joe said in his column, Miami student-athletes need the support of their fellow students. Anyone who was at the game last Saturday knows the positive impact an active student section can have on the outcome of the game. The student section was loud and active until UC scored the second touchdown.
One season ago Miami took down rival Ohio University and the students that stayed until the end of the game rushed the field and sang “Love and Honor” with the team. That is what every sporting event at Miami should be.
Watching (and participating) in the singing of the fight song made me notice that student-athletes and students were able to unite as one body of Miami pride. The athletes are just like us “normal” students, just a lot busier. It means a lot to them when we take time out of our busy schedules to watch them compete.
If you are a student at Miami, chances are you chose this school because you like what it has to offer. Why come to Miami, or any college, if you aren’t willing to see all it has to offer?
Go to a sporting event. Two or three hours won’t hurt you.