The Collegian
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hey Richmond! Where'd Everybody Go?

New stadium? Check. New high-profile transfer quarterback? Check. New greater sense of school pride surrounding the football team? If last Saturday's game against the University of Delaware is any indication, that box most assuredly will remain blank. While starting off fairly full, the student section provided only a handful of dedicated fans standing and cheering on their Spiders by game's end. A mass of people even left at halftime, when the game was still close with Richmond trailing by a mere 13-6 deficit.

The Richmond Rowdies are an on-campus organization aimed at raising school spirit for athletic competitions. Basically, they want to prevent what happened last weekend in the student section from happening again.

"I was [mostly] disappointed that the mere two sections of [Delaware] Blue Hen fans that were there were louder than the student section," said Sarah Huang, game day and social chairwoman of the Rowdies' executive board. "I understand that it was hot outside, but the amount of people that left was just a shock to me."

Many factors could have led to such a sparse crowd, but more than likely the unattractive score drove off the majority, as the "sea of red" wanting to cheer the football team to victory was seen "flowing" toward the exits at about the same time the Blue Hens went up by two touchdowns late in the second half.

Huang said, "I know it's hard to watch your team lose horribly, to have the willpower to stay standing and cheering, but they need us to rally behind them."

One excuse students seemed to be using last week was Family Weekend.

"A big problem with this game," Huang said, "is a lot of students wanted to go to the game with their parents, but their parents couldn't secure tickets to the game, so the students ended up not attending."

While technically true, the argument doesn't work too well when the size of the student section is taken into consideration.

"It's ridiculous to have a stadium with too few seats in the student section for the student body and, yet, the student section is almost completely empty by the fourth quarter," Huang said.

In retrospect, the new stadium may not be doing as much for school spirit as originally believed. While the stadium being on campus has made it more accessible for students, its convenience also lends itself to an easier decision for fair-weather fans to leave when it's too hot or Richmond isn't playing its best. Sure, the opener was a feel-good story as the fans and alumni rallied behind their team in the inaugural game at E. Claiborne Robins Stadium, but the student body needs to prove it can cheer through thick and thin.

Unconditional love: We have it for our family, and if this school is to take the next step in the spirit department, we need to have it for our sports teams. Last week proved the love for Spider football is still conditional. What can we do to change this?

Building solid, fun traditions seems to be the general consensus.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

"For every home football game, the Friday before we try to get everyone to wear red to class to show school spirit," said Huang. "I'm all for 'guys in ties, girls in pearls,' but if you're going to wear a dress, at least try to match your home team's colors, or maybe just don't match the opponent team's colors."

This Saturday will give fans their third straight home game to cheer for the Spiders against Coastal Carolina University.

Support independent student media

You can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking the button below, which takes you to our secure PayPal account. The page is set up to receive contributions in whatever amount you designate. We look forward to using the money we raise to further our mission of providing honest and accurate information to students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the general public.

Donate Now