From the Cheap Seats: What Kind of Fans Are We? - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

From the Cheap Seats: What Kind of Fans Are We?

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There was shock in Mountaineer country this week.  Not because we had more rushing than passing yards against Bowling Green, but because our coach dared to ask where all the crazy fans he's been hearing so much about were.            

Who does this guy with the crazy hair think he is?  Well, he's the guy who was brought in to deliver what most fans said would put them in the seats: a vastly improved offensive football team.  Through five games he certainly has delivered on that and has every right to wonder why the fans who promised so much, haven't held up their end of the bargain.            

Before we go any further, let's get a few things out of the way.  This is not about being a good or a bad fan, it's about what kind of fan you are and being honest about it.  There is a decent-sized core group of fans who show up for everything Mountaineer.  The people who toughed it out in the rain on Saturday, aren't the ones Coach Holgorsen is talking about and aren't the ones I'm writing about.  Speaking of the rain, let's get that out of the way too.  Yes, it was raining.  Yes it was a miserable day to be outside, but this isn't just about last Saturday.  That crowd or lack thereof, is just the latest example.            

As soon as the coach questioned the fans who didn't show up, the excuses started flying.   

Let's look at some of the most common ones:

"It's the economy."  That's pure bunk.  Most of the empty seats were already sold and the owners of those seats chose not to come.  Not to mention the nearly non-existent student body, whose entrance is already paid for.  The economy didn't just get bad, and going to a game didn't just get expensive.  The people who can't afford to go to games haven't been coming for years.  If anything, it shows that the economy, for many, is not that bad.  Fans can apparently afford to not use paid-for tickets and can sit at home in front of high definition TVs instead.  

"It's the opponents."  Was I excited about Norfolk State or Bowling Green coming to town?  No, but I can find excitement in a Mountaineer running back racking up almost 300 yards and I can find excitement in 55 points.  Every team in the country, even in the SEC, has a couple of cupcakes on the schedule.  That's just how college football is today.  

"It's the game time."  If it's a noon kickoff, that doesn't give us enough time to get drunk before heading into the stadium.  If it's a 3:30 game, it should've been a night game.  If it's a night game, we're going to get home too late.  Maybe some time in the future, we'll be able to Tivo our live game experience, but until then, deal with it, it won't kill you.  

"It's the weather."  It's too hot and we've got AC at home.  It's too cold and the bars have heat.  It's raining or snowing and we might get wet.  Obviously Saturday was not a great day to bring young children or the elderly to the stadium, but 40,000 or so other fans managed to survive.  What was the students' excuse?  Buy a cheap rain suit and show up.  

Again, this isn't a new issue.  Looking at basketball for a second, Coach Huggins has been complaining about the bandwagon fans since he got here.  It seems like he gets a free pass because he's a West Virginian, while this outsider Holgorsen guy is attacked for having the same opinion.            

We just need to be honest with ourselves and our players and coaches.  We have a group of really good fans.  We also have a group that show's up for big games, when the conditions are perfect, and it fits their busy schedules.  That's who we are and that's fine, we just have to admit it.  If you're not in the first group, please don't go around telling everyone what a diehard you are.  Don't be upset when our elite coaches move on to elite programs that can deliver on promises.  And please...please stop describing us as having an SEC atmosphere.

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