Collin wrote the nice, diplomatic post about why people aren’t showing up to USF football games. This is not a nice post. Because I’m tired of the excuses people come up with not to support this team. In fact, I’m so tired of them that I’m going to spend this post debunking them.
There is one valid excuse: If you have a job where you have to work on weekends and you couldn’t make it to this game, that’s understandable. The only games I ever missed as a student was because I was working my college job. But I made it to all the others. So should you.
Now, on to the many invalid excuses.
EXCUSE #1: “It’s so hot outside and it’s a noon kickoff!”
This is pitiful. You live in Florida. You chose to go to college in Florida. You chose to continue living in Florida after college. It’s hot for about six months a year, including early October. And USF doesn’t control the kickoff times, the league and TV networks do. Not an excuse.
Also, USF just had a noon kickoff against Florida State two weeks ago, when it was actually hotter and more miserable than it was on Saturday. Attendance didn’t seem to be a problem then.
EXCUSE #2: “There are so many other things to do!”
You know when you can go to the beach, or a movie, or Oktoberfest, or whatever? On Sunday. Or on Friday, if you’re a student and you don’t have any classes. Or on a weekend when USF has a road game, or a weeknight game, or no game at all. Not an excuse.
By the way, was it hot when you went to the beach? Oh, it was? Then don’t claim you don’t go to football games because it’s hot.
EXCUSE #3: “The stadium is so far away!”
Right... and USF is going to try and raise $100 million (at a bare minimum) to build a new stadium on campus when no one goes to the stadium they play in now? Not an excuse.
EXCUSE #4: “There was a hurricane!”
Not in Tampa there wasn’t! At no point did any forecast of Hurricane Matthew put Tampa in any real danger. There was some rain and a little bit of wind on Thursday and Friday. But by Saturday morning the sun was out and conditions were good.
Your only valid hurricane excuses are if you live on the Atlantic coast, in which case please go back to your home and make sure everything is good instead of coming to a football game. Or if you had evacuees staying with you. Otherwise, not an excuse.
Couple other things:
- You may not have seen the Notre Dame/NC State game from Raleigh because it was on at the same time as USF. (Well, maybe you did since you didn’t go to the USF game.) That game probably should not have been played. It was very windy and pouring down rain, and there were actual puddles on the playing field. Still, up until a voluntary evacuation was announced at halftime, that game had more fans in the stands than USF/ECU did.
- For the “students couldn’t come because hurricane” excuse - why would any parents on the Atlantic coast with kids at USF ask them to leave the safety of Tampa and come towards an approaching hurricane?
EXCUSE #5: “No one told us the game was still being played!”
OK, that’s an issue. Local media outlets not named the Tampa Bay Times need to give USF more attention. As Collin noted in his post, it didn’t look like any TV station sent a reporter or cameraperson to the stadium on Saturday.
On the other hand, since you all can’t be bothered to show up to games, can you blame TV stations for concluding that they have better uses of their time and resources than covering a USF football game? There are also plenty of other ways to get this information. Check the Internet, or social media. Put just a tiny bit of effort in and look it up yourself.
EXCUSE #6: “The schedule isn’t exciting enough!”
Not an excuse. In fact, this is the most pathetic excuse of them all. Do you think we cared about the schedule when students my age were packing into the stadium for homecoming games against mighty Cumberland or New Haven? Even after the novelty wore off, the crowds were still better for homecoming games against Houston (2001) and Memphis (2002) and Cincinnati (2003, on a Friday night) than the crowd was Saturday. News flash: All three of those teams are in your conference now. Get over it.
There’s this, too: You all want to get into a better conference, whether that’s the Big XII or someone else later on. Crowd support is a factor for any team under consideration. Yet with Big XII expansion on the table at this very moment, you can’t show up to the game? How serious are you about this?
Finally, I’m going to put this in huge font so that it gets through your head:
WHO CARES ABOUT THE OPPONENT. COME TO THE GAME TO ROOT FOR USF.
This is the most exciting USF football team and the easiest one to root for in years, maybe ever. They’re 5-1, they’re scoring boatloads of points, and they’re well on their way to winning more games than any USF football team ever has. If you won’t come to games because the opponents aren’t exciting enough, then you’re telling the players you don’t care enough about them to give them your support. And believe me, they’ve already noticed.
EXCUSE #7: Complacency, boredom, etc.
I’m sorry, what planet do Bulls fans live on that they can be complacent or bored with this team? The Syracuse game that started the turnaround was one year ago today. (Happy anniversary!) Before that, USF football was awful for four straight years. And please tell me about all the huge successes and championships USF football has had in its history.
Wait, there aren’t any. They’ve never even had a 10-win season. You cannot possibly be bored with this team’s success. Not an excuse.
So there you have it. Seven common excuses for not showing up to games, almost all worthless. Be there Saturday at 7:00 p.m. There, now you know what time the game starts. And I’m not telling you the opponent because it doesn’t matter. Show up and support this USF football team.