Nov. 23, 2012; Pullman, WA, USA; The Washington State Cougars football team rushes the field after a game against Washington Huskies at Martin Stadium. The Cougars would go on to beat the Huskies by a final score of 31-28 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Just look at all those empty seats! That’s the Apple Cup of last season as the Cougs are rushing the field and several hundred fans are missing it! So this is perfect for Washington State fans, you’ll love it… or hate it, depending on your gameday tradition if and when you head to Martin Stadium.
Nick Saban, you know, the two-time defending, three-outta-four leading FBS championship coach of Alabama, put it to his fans to be more committed. HIS fans!
This is a quote from his media session on Wednesday.
"I talk about the players playing for 60 minutes of the game and competing for 60 minutes in the game,” Saban said. “I think that some kind of way, everybody that chooses to go to the game, you should stay there and support the team for the game.“Maybe if you’re not interested in doing that, you should let somebody else go who would like to go because I have a lot of people who want to go.”"
Oct 19, 2013; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban paces the sidelines against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the fourth quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Coug fans, take note. This is from a fan base that fills Bryant-Denny on a weekly basis… that’s 102,000 seats weekly.
I’ve been pretty critical of our fan base in the past because not enough show up, then 1/3 of them leave early (that’s hardly an exaggeration either), even in a close game! No matter how much the team says “we love our fan base, they show up every week… blah, blah, blah” it’s a big deal to the teams who are competitive that their fans show up and FILL THE STADIUM every week.
In the case of the best team in the nation, it’s not enough just to show up. That’s how fans of a team should act! Do we want a winning team? Act like we ARE A WINNING TEAM!
None of this leaving at halftime stuff. None of this “oh we’re blowing them out, I’m outta here to get home early” or “oh whoa is me we’re getting beat, time for an early drink”. That’s disappointing regardless of the comments by the players and coaches. It even hurts recruiting… yep, recruiting.
Listen to this next comment by Saban.
"We have a lot of recruits there. We like to see a full stadium,” Saban said. “We have a beautiful stadium and a very nice place, one of the nicest venues in all of college football. I think we should all show our appreciation for it by staying there and showing our appreciation to the team for the whole game."
This is universal. Mike Leach is appreciative of the support the Cougs receive, but truthfully, it’s pretty weak in comparison to … well most FBS teams’ fan bases around the country that claim to be the “best”, which we do… somehow.
I will agree that the Cougs have some of the best individual fans in the country, I don’t doubt that! So if you are one of those that comes for the game, sunshine or snow and stays for the whole thing, or drives up to six hours over the Pass to see the Cougs play, even just once a year, or travels with the team to support them on the road… you know who you are that wave the flag! You can ignore this article because it’s not for you.
But in general our fan base could use some work. 40,000 for the Seattle game, 1/2 of our fans gone by the 10:00 mark of the 4th quarter against OSU, 1/3 of our student section gone at halftime of the win against Idaho, barely 3/4 of the stadium even sold tickets to SUU for the first home game of the season and right after the USC win! That’s just pathetic. Players know it, coaches know it, recruits see it.
Nick Saban would be ashamed. Mike Leach should get the same type of dedication from us, who claim to rival the Alabama’s of the world in support of our University.
Time to step up our game Cougs.