Archive for Thursday, October 13, 2011

Athletes need support

October 13, 2011

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Saturday’s game between Oklahoma and Kansas involves a suspense factor. It’s located in the stands. KU students who hold season tickets can bring another student free of charge for the 8:15 p.m. kickoff televised on ESPN2.

How many students will take advantage? If the answer is not many, the empty seats will add to the negative vibe of this football season. If it’s plenty, one day after Late Night, count that as a loud statement the students want their school to be known as more than a basketball powerhouse.

Senior tight end Tim Biere, the team’s most experienced player and its best, has started for four years.

“You never really know what the students are going to do around here, but, I mean, hopefully, they’ll show up and be loud,” Biere said. “When they’re into the game, it does make a difference. So hopefully, they show up and yell really loud on Saturday.”

Sophomore cornerback Tyler Patmon, an Academic All-Big 12 selection a year ago, also didn’t know what to expect.

“It’s prime time on ESPN. I expect people to come out and support us,” he said. “But I really haven’t played an 8 o’clock game, so I don’t know if that’s better than an 11 o’clock game or a 2 o’clock game.”

From the outside, it seems a shame that KU’s rare chance at this sort of national exposure comes in a game that on paper looks so lopsided.

“We don’t go into it looking at it like that at all,” Biere said. “We look at it as an opportunity to play the best team in the nation and compete with them. We’re going into it trying to win. We expect to win. Playing a game like that on ESPN will be great. There are a lot of young guys who haven’t gotten to be on ESPN yet. It’ll be a fun atmosphere Saturday night.”

Said Patmon: “I’m glad it’s this one. It’s a challenge. It’s one of the top three teams in the nation coming to play us at our home.”

It takes a freshman student body to change a fan culture at a university. If a freshman class is wooed into making attending each football game as automatic as ambling ever-so-slowly on campus crosswalks to keep cars waiting for an extra long time, it then passes that culture down to the next freshman class, which in turn does the same to the next one.

Kansas plays more freshmen than most schools, so this would seem a decent year for the freshman student body to begin to establish a serious football culture.

Running backs Tony Pierson, Darrian Miller and Brandon Bourbon are in the first of four years of eligibility, as is receiver JaCorey Shepherd. Defensive end Javonte Daniel needs to pack on some pounds, but has the makings of a speed rusher. Outside linebacker Michael Reynolds has speed built for blitzing and for dropping into pass coverage. Speedy safety Victor Simmons will get more time Saturday.

“We have a great freshman class,” Reynolds said. “Hopefully, the students will come out to the game. We’ll need their fan support. I just hope they can stay with us through the year.”

If freshmen students turn out in big numbers Saturday, nobody ever can accuse them of front-running.

Comments

sad_lawrencian 6 years, 4 months ago

I had some supports when I was an athlete. Happy to sell them. Any takers??

2GenLtown 6 years, 4 months ago

KU students are warm weather football fans. The long time season ticket holders show up to every game as they have since the 80's etc. The spoiled students don't undetstand what it is to be a good football fan. They just don't care. It's really pathetic. We have the worst football fans in the BCS.

Even when Reesing ansd co were still here, you could count on the students to empty out at halftime to care for their pending hangovers . . . never to return.

2GenLtown 6 years, 4 months ago

To add, it's a true catch 22: you can't be good at football unless you get the fans, but you can't get the fans unless you're good at football.

Now, here is where the catch 22 stops. Fans are needed in football for any college level athletic dept. to compete at the highest level. We think we are special because we have a good basketball program. Fans at Alabama, Oklahoma, or USC scoff at this idea. The way college athletics are currently set up, only football matters. Until basketball schools are able to gain the moneys from the NCAA tourney, no basketball school means much.

KU has a winning history in football. Look it up. Guess who doesn't? Oklahoma St, KSU (by a wide margin), and other schools traditionaly (more like recently) considered football schools. Their fans and especially students show up to games. For recruiting purposes this makes a huge difference. KU has a chance to step into MU and NU's places in Texas recruiting but now is truly the defining moment. These kids will commit to KU, not the Gill staff, and the students can make a huge difference if they would stay for all 4 quarters and act like they actually give a crap.

ku_tailg8 6 years, 4 months ago

Having seen both sides of teams with a good offense/bad defense and a good defense/bad offense with the Chiefs, I have to lean to taking a good defense first. Fans can only be loud when the defense is making plays and getting off the field. Its obvious that this team is young and will hopefully develop into a good defense but you can't expect fans to be loud when the team gets down by lopsided margins. The way the Chiefs handled the 2000's destroyed the aura of Arrowhead. That stadium just hasn't been the same since. If you have tickets, then you should go to the game but I can't blame people for leaving early or not going at all.

newmedia 6 years, 4 months ago

Not to worry. I'm sure ESPN2 has the technology to "green screen" in a full stadium in the background! Rock On...

BKRJMG 6 years, 4 months ago

I wish the article title was "Jock Support"... Haha, sorry laughing at my jokes already means its going to be a long day.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 4 months ago

And all those freshman will be on the bench next year, after Gill tries to save his job and goes for the quick fix and gets a dozen or more juco players.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps if you started the game at a decent hour you might have a chance of drawing in a few dregs of fans who just wanted to watch the bloodbath. But this is not the first time that good old KU has caved in to the money moguls at ESPN. Who wants to go out and sit on what might be a pretty cold and damp night and watch their home team get massacred by a far superior team? You can sit at home, watch the game (or not) drink a beer or two and change the channel in about 10 or 15 minutes.

The University atheletic department just seems to have no clue as to what needs to be done with this problem. And it has been that way for many years. Ifeel sorry for the kids who come here to play football and be relegated to second rate status by the basketball mentality that pervades the sports programs at KU.

dszymanski 6 years, 4 months ago

please support the team. I plan to watch the game irrespective of the score from my Omaha NE home. Yes, a true Jawhawk amidts Big Red country. A few years back when Nebraska was loosing, Husker fans supported the team in Lincoln. For Kansas to make its mark and gain exposure, the fans need to fill the stands and show their support to the country. Jawhawks improve every game and the return to prominence is around the corner. I believe in Coach Gill.

DaBellaDaBall 6 years, 4 months ago

I too believe in Coach Gill. Furthermore, I think we may need to replace many of our coaches on the D side, get immediate JUCO help at D line and hope for the best.

I am a KU alumnus and love my school. But frankly, I agree that we are among the worst fans in college football. We are ultra quick to call for a head coach's ouster. There was a significant group that wanted Mangino out before he had a chance to succeed. Mason succeeded and after we finished the season in the top ten, w/ a massacre of UCLA in a bowl game, the stadium was only 3/4 full for the opening game of the following season.

Many want instant success without regard to the facts and circumstances. Give Gill a fair shake. Sure, its horrible watching this defense, but this takes time. Snyder didn't turn things around in 1 and 1/2 seasons. Had he been at KU instead of KSU, people would have been calling for his head and he may never have had the chance to become who is arguably the best college football coach in history.

acg 6 years, 4 months ago

Bring back Mangino. Maybe more peeps would watch Hawk football if it wasn't a suckfest every time. Mangino had a good team and then some whining do gooders ruined that and we're back to square one. Crap team, crap coach. Are we surprised that the students find better stuff to do than watch their team being humiliated time and time again?

DaBellaDaBall 6 years, 4 months ago

Exhibit A (acg).

I wish we had Fatgino, but we don't. It is back to square 1. So, let's all whine about it. That's a good strategy. Not.

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