After being the sports editor for the Troubadour for a full year, I’ve noticed a common statement that student-athletes like to throw around during their interviews.
“Come and support the Barons,” they say.
It’s a simple request, really. They want more students to attend home games and to cheer on their beloved friends in athletics.
The athletes aren’t asking us to drive miles and miles to attend some non-conference game in some non-adjacent state; rather, they only want some better home game representation.
Big games get a lot of the attention they deserve. Take, for example, the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championship finals match for the men’s soccer team last semester — that one felt more like Occupy Wall Street with how packed and noisy it was.
The Barons and Lady Barons deserve more than occasional support reserved solely for weighty games, although supporting them during those times is particularly important. We can spare some support for everyday home games, too.
Going to a home game, no matter which sport it’s for, is advantageous to spectators as well. Now that it’s officially spring, intermittent snow aside, the weather is beautiful.
Take a study break for your own health and bask in the sunlight. Do you need white noise in order to study? Well, the indistinct clamor of a baseball or softball game would be perfect for you. You can even get homework done while you’re at the game; nothing’s stopping you.
Pulling up to a home game is a chance to socialize and relax. Grab a handful of your friends and hit up a game. Kick it next to the rugby pitch or have a picnic on the hill above Trinity Health System Field during a lacrosse match.
You don’t even have to watch the game, if we’re being honest. Just being there is enough, but when everyone else starts cheering, you should cheer as well.
It’s alright to pop in some earbuds and zone out to music. For me, I’d find it even easier to concentrate that way. You could run through an entire album or two in that time, which I know is a tempting proposal to my fellow music lovers.
It’s alright if you don’t understand what’s happening in the game; however, if you give it a shot, you might find that the complexities of the sport are intriguing. Shed your old habit of calling every athletic activity you don’t like “sports ball.”
Different athletes have varied ideas on how to improve Franciscan University athletics, but one thing they can all agree on is that fan presence is everything.
Put yourself in the shoes of an athlete. It’s easy to get inside your own head when the stands are empty. Merely having some students in the bleachers to cheer can be a major motivator and confidence-booster.
I can’t make it to every home game, especially not now because I’ll be taking on the role of editor-in-chief for the Troubadour next semester. Things are about to get a lot more intense for me.
However, Baron athletics will always hold a special place in my heart now that I’ve invested so much time into covering sports on campus.
The people I’ve met, athletes and coaches, have been wonderful. They’re some of the most genuine and positive people I’ve had the pleasure of working with.
I want my final message as the sports editor to be a memorable and meaningful one. That’s why I want to remind readers that student-athletes are people, too.
Don’t mark off every student-athlete as a Chad or a gym rat without getting to know them. They’re students just like we are, grinding every day with the same things we non-athletes do, falling asleep at 2 a.m. with their noses in biology textbooks or waking up bright and early for daily Mass.
As we move into the future, I hope to continue fostering my connectivity with Baron athletics, even if it’s not necessarily my job anymore. Hopefully, if you take my words to heart, you’ll see me at some games.