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Friday, Feb. 23
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Memorial Stadium ain’t so memorial

Take a number, and get to the back of the line. You’re all guilty.

No, I’m not solely referring to the student body. Alumni and locals – you, too, are just as blamable. So, keep walking.

While you take that journey to the rear, pat yourself on the back for a job NOT well done. Don’t you dare turn around, because the tomatoes will be flying faster than you can blink.

The IU football team’s poor play isn’t the sole reason why Bloomington doesn’t live for football.

Don’t attribute the Hoosiers’ recent slide simply to the forced turnovers, the incomplete passes and missed tackles. Don’t even pinpoint IU’s lack of bowl games.
It’s you!

It’s because of you football has vanished. It’s because of you recruits won’t call IU home. It’s because of you the program is tarnished.

You are the culprits. You are the delinquents.

Wins and losses shouldn’t dictate whether you enter the gates or not. The level of play shouldn’t be the deciding factor. On game day, the only thing on your mind should be defending the Rock.

Where is your sense of pride, people? IU needs a stadium filled with more than varsity club donors and three tiny sections of students, most of which, I assure you, aren’t sober enough to read the scoreboard.

There’s no need for me to compare IU to other schools. You are fully aware of the noteworthy fan bases out there.

The whacked out and crazy student sections visitors are afraid of, the cheers and fight songs that shake the opposition, the hostile territory that comes with home-field advantage: This is not you, Hoosiers.

One would think after a bowl-game appearance, figures would drastically improve the next season. Let’s put it this way: There are still plenty of open seats.

The average attendance for the past four home games is roughly 33,342, which is still well short of Memorial Stadium’s capacity of 49,225. But the crowd sure as hell doesn’t look like 30-some-thousand.

It’s really funny how things work here.

The basketball team is unlikely to be a threat in the Big Ten this season, but I’ll go out on a limb and say Assembly Hall will be fully encompassed with seas of cream and crimson throughout the winter.

Why can’t football have the same backing? Why can’t every gridiron grudge have a rivalry feel like the 2007 Old Oaken Bucket contest?

As loyal fans not only to the football team but to the University, it’s your responsibility to bring pigskin back to Bloomington.

Put the 1994-2006 postseason drought in the past – that’s only an afterthought now. Instead, start something new.

So what if the football team loses every game from here on out?

Let them hear about it. Actually show up and jeer. Tell them how you really feel.
Fans, you need to start from the ground up.

Spread the word that IU isn’t just a basketball school. Get football to be just as prevalent.

Let Lynch and company take care of the X’s and O’s. You concentrate on breaking the sound barrier.

Unlock the corpse and pack the Rock.

Like former coach Terry Hoeppner, invent new traditions and witness the program come back to life.

Remember – it’s you, the 12th man, who can resurrect home-field advantage.
Or you can just wait in line.

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