Coming off of a 27-24 thriller against Kansas State, the USD Coyote football team shows promise going into the season.
Though USD doesn’t have a 50,000-seat stadium to fill with fans as Kansas State did Saturday night, we should be able to fill the DakotaDome on game days.
The excitement of the game is what makes football season great, but the energy from Coyote fans make the experience. Unfortunately, the issue arises that students rarely stay through the entire game.
It’s been said before that a strong team needs a strong fanbase – so when the student section shrinks as severely as it typically does after halftime it is a real hit to the hardworking football players.
Some people argue that after students graduate they regret not having soaked up the experience of a college football game. Once you are no longer able to get into the student section, you not only lose a killer seat for the game, you also lose a sense of community.
So how do you become part of the pack?
Believe it or not, it goes beyond wearing red and going to tailgate.
These athletes work hard for their time to shine, so having their support system leave halfway through is incredibly discouraging. The team gives it their all and it seems like the least we could do is stay and watch the entire game.
Last January, former men’s basketball head coach Craig Smith, in lieu of the win over South Dakota State, shared his feelings regarding the student section.
“The spirit and atmosphere our student body has is contagious and conducive to winning. Their exuberance carries into the traditional fan base, and that energy carries right onto the floor.”
Yes, tailgate is fun. Yes, excitement is at its’ peak at the beginning of the game and when things seem to be going south for the team, it is easy to want to pack up and go to spare oneself the pain of seeing our boys lose.
But win or lose, these players have committed their time. They’ve put in the effort and are representing our school as best as they can. While winning may seem like the only goal, these boys are also trying to foster a sense of Coyote pride.
The posters and billboards across campus and across Vermillion aren’t there to simply be looked at. They’re meant to rally us.
Yes, it may seem cliché to throw all our love and pride into our football team, but once we leave here the easiest way for us to remain a part of the pack is being keeping up with our teams. Whether we go as far as to join Coyote Crazies or simply make sure to show we support our team by staying through the entirety of a football game, our Coyote pride should absolutely extend beyond halftime.