Why has Southern Miss game attendance plummeted?
Let’s face it- our beloved Southern Miss is just not like Ole Miss or Mississippi State when it comes to football game attendance. This is an obvious statement, but it “rings true” when talking about the lack of attendance, especially by students, at Southern Miss football games. Hell, even the Sun Herald did an article on the lack of attendance- wake up and come to the games people! Why doesn’t our student body show more support? Does it have to do with the fact that the student section is in direct sunlight? Or is it more so about the fact that many people on campus just aren’t into football? Time to tackle this pressing question.
I’ve been going to USM games since I was five years old, and I still love them. I’ve always sat on the home side, at the tip top of the Rock, with a clear view of the student section. In recent years, I’ve watched the students stop showing up. But why? After asking a few different students, I got the following answers: homework, work, parties and the games can be just plain boring. It’s pretty disheartening for me to hear those answers. Maybe it’s time for a slight change.
Making USM games more fun for everyone would have to mainly be a collective effort by the student body. If more people showed up, we could make attending USM games as fun as going to SEC games. Ole Miss “locks the Vaught.” MSU rings their (annoying) cowbells. USM, we have the nasty bunch – let’s actually start putting it to better use people! We’ve got tons of great chants- someone start them! It’s really up to the student body to make the games more fun. And quite honestly, there’s no harm in coming to a game.
Now this is C-USA, so we won’t typically be playing big SEC schools every other week. Sorry, but that’s just how it is here. Who exactly we’re playing really shouldn’t matter. Students need to be at the games supporting their classmates, and their school in general. Other teams probably look at us and think, “Wow no one cares at USM,” and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want other people thinking negatively about USM. I love my school, and I want everyone to respect us, but how could they with our lack of caring?
Now as for missing a game for homework, I understand you want/need good grades, but you can’t keep your nose buried in a book for hours on end- that’s no way to effectively study! You can take a break and go have a good time- I promise it’s okay. We’re in college. This is the time to have fun and make memories.
Making memories in college, according to the movies, is done by partying. But why skip the game to party? Is partying so important that you have to do it all day? You can do that after the game is over, people. I promise it won’t hurt you.
Other reasons for the lack of attendance include difficulty getting into the game and then finding a seat in the student section. If you want to enter at the lower level entrance (for students) your student I.D. must be verified, and you must present your Eagle Club card. Well, turns out a lot of people have lost that little Eagle Club card (which is literally a piece of paper,) so they are denied entrance at the lower level even if their I.D. is verified. This makes zero sense to me. Why are we turning away people that are trying to get into the games?
Obviously, something needs to be done here. USM needs more game attendees- we are currently ranked 5th in C-USA game attendance. We need to do better to support our Eagles. Southern Miss can’t get to the top without support from its fans, especially the students. Get up, get dressed, go to the games, and Southern Miss- to the top!