Imagine a Venn diagram of SMU alums and FrontBurnervians and you have an idea of what my inbox looks like. More comments from the FB Nation after the jump.
Success on the field can be directly correlated to an increase in attendance. Case in point: TCU, 40 miles to the west and very similar in history and demographics to SMU.
TCU drew poorly in the 70s, 80s and part of the 90s when its football team stunk. Once they got things turned around in the late 90s and maintained that level of success, the crowds kept getting bigger. The school is able to draw at least 30,000 to 35,000 to every home game – not that big a crowd compared to UT or A&M, but given TCU’s size and small alumni base (only about 30,000 in the D-FW area) that’s a solid number.
More importantly, the school has worked hard to cultivate excitement and interest among the student body. The coaches visit the fraternities and sororities each year to ask for their support, and you see pep rallies, spirit decorations, etc. on campus much more now than you did 15 years ago. That has paid off in the stands each Saturday, when you see hundreds of students in purple screaming until they are hoarse.
However, if SMU is going to change the student culture in a similar fashion, winning is a good place to start.
I couldn’t agree more. SMU has done a bang-up job of alienating its alums in general. I was dragged to the homecoming game against whoever it was they played (and beat, actually), and there were maybe 7,000 there. There were more people out on Bishop Blvd eating hot dogs than in the stands.
And, as a former Mustang on the track team, I can tell you they’re going in the wrong direction. Last year, they killed the men’s track team for no good reason. The men’s track team was the only program on campus to have national champions in the past decade, had numerous Olympians, whose success gave SMU prominent exposure across the country and around the world.
So none of us shold expect much from the football squad for the next 40-50 years.
Which raises the question of Title IX–a whole ‘nother can o’ worms, one that I choose not to get into so close to happy hour/kick-off.