Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Why Being a Passionate Fan Effing Matters

It's 3rd down and short, Gophers are on defense, opponents are pinned at their own 15-yard line at the open end of the stadium. Gophers are up by seven late in the 3rd quarter, so getting a stop here would be huge. Me and my crew of three are up and in full throat, near the front of our section in the lower level. It's a huge play, I'm totally amped and I want to enjoy what the stadium looks like when all the fans are hyped to help the defense. I turn around to look at our section.

I see literally one other person standing, my road dog WCJ about 25 rows back.


I'm going to get a lot preachy here and I suspect that if you're one of our six loyal readers, you're already singing soprano in the choir. The truth is, our fans suck. I'm not just talking about the blue hairs either; there are some die-hards that are pretty meh when it comes to cheering the team on during the game. They'll clap, do the Rouser and make some noise occasionally. But their hearts aren't really in it. They show up at the games but leave their passion at home.

The fact is, if we're ever going to be a good program, we need to get a lot better as fans. We have a home field advantage in name only (#HFAINO). Yeah, there are a lot of empty seats around the stadium, but the more dynamic football Fleck brings as well as wins will take care of that problem. What winning itself won't cure is the moribund atmosphere it's our job to create. We look to the students to set the tone for the rest of the stadium and they've been mostly amazing the last two years. It's the rest of the fans that are the problem.

Look, we've got to take ownership of this or it will never get better. Individually, make it a point to leave the game with a hoarse voice. Talking should be painful on Sunday morning - then you'll know you've done your part. If you're attending with a stoic friend who sits there with his or her arms crossed the whole time without making a peep, punch him or her in the liver until they start groaning - it's better than silence. Try, plead even, with people in your section to try standing and making noise every once in a while on big plays. 

Attending college football games is not about watching the damn game. Attending college football games is about the experience; an experience where you, yes you, play a fundamental role in the team's success. We're loud and force a false start or a time out, the team benefits. We sit placidly watching the big screen to see what play happens, the team loses its competitive edge.

I guarantee every player in the game leaves exhausted. I don't care if you're in the first row of Section 105 or the last row of Section 232, you should aspire to leave your seat at the end of the game in the same condition.


  1. As someone who sits in your section, you guys get pretty amped. I do my best to get after it, but when everyone around you is seated and silent it feels a bit weird being the only one for a few rows screaming your ass off. Will do better this Saturday.

  2. I need to do a better job, but I'm superstitious if I cheer on 3 3rd downs in a row and the defense fails I really think I just jinxed the team, so I sit and we stop them I think OK this is what I have to do as my role in the battle.

  3. 100 % agree are fans do suck but i also blame the student's as well they need to start filling up both levels not just lower level.

  4. ugh, I admit I'm a watcher/mumbler, but it's due to nerves, not anything else. for some reason my brain thinks its better to mumble "watch for draw, watch for draw" over and over than to create noise on 3rd and 7.

  5. I'm in the choir you speak of. I'm all in on Gameday, standing, yelling, cheering, shouting the occasional (regretful) insult at the refs/opposing team. Every Monday in Fall, when I roll into work, people ask if I have a cold. The frog in my throat croaks "Gopher home game last weekend. Row the boat, baby!"