My sister attends the University of Notre Dame. Until the very end of the football season last year and into the beginning of this season, she told me how the student body continued to support the football team. There is never a dull moment on game day.
My support for the Hoosiers rests on the expectation that they could win. But the team's continued losses in fall of 2021 weren’t assisting my fight against my sister’s claim that IU has no spirit within the student body. As Memorial Stadium games continued on cold weekend days, attendance dropped weekend after weekend, or at least that’s how it appeared as a student section attendee.
Many athletes were recruited by athletic professionals to play for such a large competitive school, increasing revenue and ensuring competitive weekly games. There are many reasons we should attend these games on a weekly basis.
Last season, my parents took a trip down to Bloomington for the IU versus Rutgers game Nov.13, and the 38-3 loss was brutal in the November cold. While my parents are always happy to make the familiar trek from Chicago down I-65, the attendance rates shocked them. Memorial stadium remained full of open seats in all sections.
The sound of cheers was nearly nonexistent. The saddest moment of the game was when IU fans cheered louder for the shirtless students in the nosebleeds than they did for the athletes on the field.
Students become lazier as the weather gets colder. It’s harder to find motivation to attend games when the losing streaks increase game-by-game. The Big Ten Network, and other providers, broadcast IU football games right into the confines of the student bodies’ accommodations. This became easier due to widespread internet access and the latest technology trends.
Attending football games stays an integral part of the IU Hoosier experience. We are lucky to have a huge stadium and the opportunity to buy low-cost tickets. If someone is not a season football ticket holder, there are many GroupMe chats and IU Classified posts that allow one to find discounted resale tickets.
If many students attend games, this will provide a way for students to meet new people. Introduce yourself to the person on the right and left of the group of people you came in with.
Many students can recall a time when they were recognized for an accomplishment or achievement. Take time to consider student athletes work hard for similar recognition in weekly competitions. Why should their demanding work be ignored?
Give your fellow Hoosiers the recognition they deserve. They work hard daily to represent the university. Think about when we play Purdue on Nov. 26. Our community bragging rights against Purdue depend on how our athletes and peers perform.
Show the players we believe they will win by showing up to the game in support.
John Hultquist (he/him) is a senior studying community health with minors in urban planning/community development, global health promotion and personal well-being.