Archive for Thursday, October 15, 2009

Students’ halftime exits disappoint Jayhawks

Kansas receiver Kerry Meier tries to get away from a tackle by Jesse Smith in the first half of the Kansas and Iowa State game Saturday.

Kansas receiver Kerry Meier tries to get away from a tackle by Jesse Smith in the first half of the Kansas and Iowa State game Saturday.

October 15, 2009


Fans of the Kansas University football team have come out in droves this season — setting a single-game attendance record in the Jayhawks’ season-opener against Northern Colorado and exceeding the 50,000 mark in both of the team’s other non-conference home games.

What they haven’t done, however, is keep their backsides in their seats for the duration of the game.

Through five games this season, the Jayhawks are unbeaten and ranked No. 17 nationally heading into Saturday’s 6 p.m. road matchup with Colorado, but on multiple occasions — including last Saturday’s shootout against Iowa State, in which the Jayhawks led just 20-12 at halftime and the game wasn’t decided until the final minute — a mass exodus has occurred, sometimes by the start of the second half.

“I’ve done all I can to get them here,” said KU coach Mark Mangino, who declined to discuss the issue further Wednesday but said it might be something he would address in the offseason. “Somebody else is going to have to do something else to keep them here.”

Players, meanwhile, seemed to have no problem this week voicing their displeasure with the early exits, which seem especially abundant in the stadium’s student section.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I’m not disappointed,” said quarterback Todd Reesing, who threw for a career-high 442 yards against the Cyclones. “Because it is disappointing when you’re in a conference game and you’re a top 20 team and you’re in a close game where you could really use some fan support and half the student section leaves.”

“All the guys notice that on the team,” he added. “It’s hard not to notice.”

Heading into the season, Mangino made a point to forge a rambunctious gameday environment, urging fans during this summer’s fan appreciation day to help turn Memorial Stadium into a “hostile” environment for opposing teams.

And through halftime of four home games this season, that’s exactly what they’ve done.

It’s fans’ late-game tendencies that have left players shaking their heads.

“The fan base at KU, we’re known for having a loud atmosphere — especially at basketball games,” said senior receiver Kerry Meier, who has been in Lawrence long enough to remember the years when the football team had trouble filling seats at any point during a game. “But we’re trying to switch that to a football atmosphere, trying to get that going, and to come out and not see them there (after halftime), it’s kind of upsetting.”

In the end, Meier said, there’s not much players can do besides put the best product possible onto the field and hope for the best.

“As long as we’re doing good things and making exciting plays, I think the fans will be there,” he said. “But it’s their choice if they want to leave. We got to keep on playing ball.”

Quarterback Club holds meeting

The KU Quarterback Club will host its weekly meeting at 5 p.m. today at Buffalo Wild Wings, 1012 Massachusetts Street.

The week’s guest speaker will be Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Jeff Long, a former KU baseball and football letterman. The meeting will be followed by “Hawk Talk with Mark Mangino” at 6 p.m.


OutlawJHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I have noticed at the games and am livid at the early departing students. I would like to get a bunch of alumni to pelt them with plastic cups as they leave early, 70's style.

You students, and you know who you are, that are leaving early stay home or transfer to some other university. I don't want you as a fellow alumni. Give your tickets away to real fans. You are not deserving to attend a game at Memorial and watch this fine group of players.

justforfun 8 years, 7 months ago

Ouylaw, Your livid??? Get over it! People can do what they want when they want,

kujayhawk 8 years, 7 months ago

I was more disappointed in the effort from our defense than the effort from the students. Both will need to bring their A-games against OU.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 7 months ago

What's with the photoshopped looking eyes in the picture?

hail2oldku 8 years, 7 months ago

"snap_pop_no_crackle (Anonymous) says… What's with the photoshopped looking eyes in the picture?"

That's the "eye-black" tape under his eyes.

BigPrune 8 years, 7 months ago

After reading the "photoshopped looking eyes" comment and looking at the photo, I can't stop laughing!

labmonkey 8 years, 7 months ago

All their adderoll ran out. Cmon, the fix for everything for this group of kids growing up was to give them drugs when they really just needed a kick in the ass. Now they have no attention span past an hour unless they have an ample supply of adderoll or ritalin.

Sagecasey 8 years, 7 months ago

Simple solution, sell beer at the stadium. People's pregame buzz is gone by halftime and people leave to refuel their buzz.

lawrence_citizen 8 years, 7 months ago

Strategically placed kegs in the student section will keep them there.

geekin_topekan 8 years, 7 months ago

Those would be the bionic gridiron simulator eyes. Helps the player judge his opponents anticipated move. They also help the quarterback visualize the balls trajectory before he even throws it. Look for bionic eyes to be used more and more in football. It is sad really. Footballhas become too technical.

grimpeur 8 years, 7 months ago

They're tailgating. The sage's comment is right. Since KU encourages drinking in your car (and then driving, of course), that's where people go at halftime. Unintended (but totally predictable) consequences. Like the resultant DUI/DWIs.

Drinking and driving is apparently more attractive than good football.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 7 months ago

I'll bet hey're leaving to pound some beers during halftime and never make it back. Wanna keep everyone in the stadium and make a little extra cash?


rse1979 8 years, 7 months ago

How many of the people complaining about the students leaving early are the same alumni that leave basketball games 5-10 minutes early to beat the traffic back to JoCo?

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 7 months ago

Most people that can afford tickets don't live here. They're all in JoCo!

Head toward Lawrence on K-10 at the end of a football/b-ball game. You'll see what I'm talking about.

blindrabbit 8 years, 7 months ago

The concerns expressed by Mangino, Reesing and others about students leaving the games early are valid. I sit near the student section on the East side of the stadium and it pisses me off to see them bail out. The previous blog comments are all funny, but there are some real issues with students leaving KU games early:

From what I can tell, many if not most KU students have a poor understanding of the game of football; no problem with basketball (it is a simpler, more up-close, more immediate game) the students will sit to the end, no matter the score to get that immediate "high". Students leaving football games early is/are not an issue at OU, OSU, KSU, MU, TX, A&M, NU, TT..

Not being sexist here, but many female students I observe during a football game (and I'm not girly watching) are there as a strictly social event, texting or cell-phoning, in attempt to stay connected. No problem from my point-of-view, just reality.

The stadium sits in a residental area; too easy for students to escape to the neighborhood for a beer etc., not to return, but still feel connected via TV and proximity and to whoop it up at residences to North of stadium when the real fans depart, This particular to the KU stadium location; other Big 12 teams are not likewise situated.

Remedies: As tickets become more valuable to the gereral public; consider moving the Student Sections into less desirable areas of the stadium. Further limit the number of student tickets available, Somehow, create more student support.

Good luck, but this will end-up being more difficult to solve that having the team consistantly winning the Big 12 Championship.

Danimal 8 years, 7 months ago

They should switch the student section and family zones out. Probably about the same number of seats and since most KU students are terrible football fans, they won't know the difference anyway. And that way families will get a little bit better seats and value for their money. I've been very disappointed with the students this year. My seats are fairly high up on the east side and its been a common occurrence this year for the student section to never fill back up to the same row I'm sitting in after halftime. Our students need to get a lot louder. Texas A&M and K State aren't ranked in the Top 25, but I'm willing to bet that their student sections are more vocal than ours right now.

Gareth Skarka 8 years, 7 months ago

....and we start to see the narrative being layed down, building up the excuse for getting rid of the student section in favor of higher-paying seats....

It'll work, too.

gogoplata 8 years, 7 months ago

The Jayhawks playing on defense should focus more on how to stop the other team instead of stopping the fans from leaving early. How many yards did ISU put on them? The defense should take the offense out for steak dinners for bailing them out of that one.

blindrabbit 8 years, 7 months ago

Sat through the whole game; autie, it was cold for everyone, but students were the one's to leave en-mass. Of course, they had to prepare for upcoming classroom lectures and tests the following Monday! No doubt, some overdue papers and essays as well.

estespark 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Seamus.

I was at the game and left at halftime.

Go on. Hate me.

kthxbi 8 years, 7 months ago

I was at the gama and wanted to leave at half time. I was so cold. I bought a blanket instead. If I had just been by myself though, I would have gone. It was bitter cold.

gsxr600 8 years, 7 months ago

Can you honestly read a story from this guy? Look at that picture!

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Will football fan intimidation work?

Let's see is this article positive enough to make a difference......

Will this article have the reverse impact?

Was it too cold last game?


Hey be glad these folks showed up in the first place.

onehawkoneshock 8 years, 7 months ago

I think Gareth has hit it head on. Let's everyone complain about the students so we can begin the process of squeezing them out and selling their seats out from under them to put bigger dollars into the athletic department. It would be totally irrelevant that football games now last almost 4 hours thanks to tv time outs and that students might actually have exams to study for or papers to write. This was mid-term week. Last Saturday it was cold and there were as many non-students leaving as students. KU students support the football program but forgive them if they don't worship the team. We could turn the question around and ask how the football team shows support for the average student. I guess that would be by fighting in the middle of campus.

Practicality 8 years, 7 months ago

I agree with gogo. If the KU defense couldn't stop 11 guys from Iowa, what chance do they have against thousands of students?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

How about 300 academic full scholarships per year for non sports related financially challenged students sponsored by KU Athletics Inc.? With no strings attached. Just make the money available.

That would be a true investment in a higher institution of learning and a best bang for the USA and the buck.

GardenMomma 8 years, 7 months ago

So, are just the students leaving in droves at halftime or is it also the non-student fans as well?

If it's just the students, perhaps KU should pay attention to the real, die-hard fans - the ones that are staying the whole game and remember who is really supporting the team in the seats.

Practicality 8 years, 7 months ago

If I purchase a dinner, and I do not want to eat that dinner, or I just eat half of that dinner and leave the rest of it on the table, would the restaurant complain about it?

Bud Stagg 8 years, 7 months ago

So if the students leave, take away more and more of their seats and sell them to season ticket holders. They should support their team or give way to someone who will.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

“They should support their team”… or else?"

Extortion maybe?

Tom McCune 8 years, 7 months ago

Let's face it. American football is a slow-paced, tedious game, that usually has only 2 or 3 exciting plays for the whole afternoon. The rest of the 4 hours (including ingress and egress) is spent sitting around freezing in painful seats. It is just not well suited to the postmodern attention span. I don't know anybody any more who can tolerate that kind of afternoon stone cold sober.

GardenMomma 8 years, 7 months ago

Seamus, my point is that it seems as though the university takes for granted all the support the community gives it. If the fans that stay throughout the game are non-students, then the athletic department should remember that.

Of course the university exists to provide an education to their students, that's a moot point in my opinion.

GardenMomma 8 years, 7 months ago

I, for one, do support the non-sport related teams. I'm especially fond of the butterfly garden and all the work with Monarch Watch that KU does.

BMI 8 years, 7 months ago

Lack of butt fat. Can't seat in those hard surfaces as long. Blame Mary Kate and Ashley.

OutlawJHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

OutlawJHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Matt Schwartz 8 years, 7 months ago

ranked seventeen?? haven't played anybody to deserve that rank....the butt kicking is about to start, and the jayhawks better be padded up.

JayDocMD 8 years, 7 months ago

OutlawJHawk (Anonymous) says… "Now, put your special helmet on, walk out of your room, ask your Mom for your ritalin and get back to playing your video games. The small yellow bus will be by to pick you up in an hour or so."

that... is REALLY funny. thx for the morning laugh outlaw.

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