Part 1 of a 2 Part Series
The water cooler talk in the media circles these days has been surrounded by this question….”what’s up with attendance at both the women’s and men’s basketball games”?…..Good question and I have the answer……well….. no, I don’t….but, here is my theories, my recommendations and ideas that might help.
Back in my day…..yes, I’m going there…those of you right now making fun of Member Only jackets, Pac-man, Atari, Top-siders, just chill for a moment and listen….
From as early as I can remember, campus organizations and Greeks have fairly made up the largest ground swell of support here at Arkansas State, when it comes to athletic events….football, basketball, baseball, etc.
Game in and game out, every night or Saturday afternoon, you could always count on the students and the organizations. They took pride in showing up, they took pride at pep rallies, they took pride in the fact that they could show off the spirit stick they had won at the rally or the Spirit trophy at the end of the year as the best organization when it came to showing school spirit and pride.
Gone now are the displays or floats at homecoming…gone now are the week long activities on campus during homecoming week….gone now are the days in the Convo when it was called the “Cat House” or the “Nutt House” and the student section was out of their minds……gone are the days when introducing the visiting team at the Convo, the whole student section opened their newspapers as to ignore the starting lineup….only to give way to chants of “who cares”….”go home”….”get a job”….”nice shoes”….”grow up” and last but not least…to the head coach…..”sit down bus driver!!!”
The ear piercing yells, the boo’s, cat calls, the non stop harassment toward the opposing teams, coaches and fans and the deafening roar of the student section…..the Convo was not an easy place to come in and play a game….
The decibel levels, I would guess sometimes be equal or similar to the backwash of a jet engine…..loud…numbing….annoying…..and during this…you would actually feel your brain bouncing around inside your skull…you would literally walk out of the Convocation Center with a headache and a adrenaline high, all at the same time……The game did this to you….imagine what it did to the opposing team?
Not all is lost here. Major strives have taken place with the students and football games….winning helps a lot here. Major support from the students at other events have not gone unnoticed….at baseball games, rugby, softball, track, soccer….all of this, is part of the school experience that every student needs to feel, share and remember years from now….and the community, the area and region needs to do the same. We have made en-roads in many areas, but the basketball answer has yet to be figured out. What’s the equation?
Next article, we will take a look and try to figure that one out.