Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Texas State Bobcats

Last weekend I went back to my Alma Mater, Texas State University, to support the Fighting Bobcats and to tailgate. Things have changed a lot from when I left six years ago. It seems as though people actually care about the football team, well some people care.

One of the changes made in San Marcos is the University's support of tailgating events. If fact all of the fraternities had booths set up and coolers and barbecue pits set up. There was a free concert outside the stadium with Cory Morrow. The fact that this was homecoming also meant that there were a lot of alumni present well except around the tent I was hanging out in. There were about 5 other alumni hanging around the Sig Tau tent. A poor alumni turnout even for our standards.

Maybe I am a little unfair in my determination but it seems as though there were a lot more people tailgating that actually didn't go into the game. It isn't as if the game was sold out. I mean we are a Championship Subdivision team, there is always a seat. It is also a little unfair that I have been to several Texas Longhorn tailgating events and I live in Austin and see how proud they are of their school and football teams. That being said I was the only alumni in my tent who went in to watch the Cats.

Why? My first reaction was one of anger. I asked a fellow alumni why he didn't want to go and he said because nobody ever goes to the games. He was right! When I graduated in 2002 I went to a total of 3 games in 4 and 1/2 years and never stayed past halftime. My buzz was usually wearing off and I needed to recharge. But this was a different time things had changed, why didn't he share the same passion that I did? So I broke off into a very argumentative mode and made a lot of valid points to why it was important to support the events and why he should go into the games. His only response, "I am going to my house to watch UT play Missouri and barbecue!"

I was incensed with a feeling of betrayal. I felt like they were giving money to a school they didn't even attend, even though I knew I would be watching later too. One alum was wearing a longhorn baseball cap? I said man that game doesn't come on until 7:00pm this game will be over by 6:00pm. He said he didn't want to go because the games weren't any fun. I was passionately arguing now. I explained to him that the free concert with Cory Morrow that you just listened to was here because of football and that Texas State will soon be moving to the Bowl Subdivision and we need as many people at the games as possible. He ignored my plights and was determined to leave as soon as kickoff happened.

So how does that translate to the students that actually attend Texas State. Well of the active fraternity members that were present for the tailgate, about 30, five members made it into the game and all but one left at halftime. Which means when they become alumni they too will forgo the Bobcat experience to support a school that doesn't support them. It was a great game the Cats lost a close one to the 14th ranked Central Arkansas Bears. In fact it was almost as if we jinxed the kicker because we were playfully heckling him and he missed two field goals.

So what is my point? Why have I just spilled my guts about my passion for a college football team? The answer is that hopefully I can convince one alumni that things are not the same. That it is fun to return to the college and support your team as they make the transition to the Bowl Subdivision. That going San Marcos for more than just a party is okay. If I can convince one person to buy season tickets and then actually use them then it would be worth my time.

So far this season the Bobcats are 4-3 with a big win over conference rival McNeese State. They are 1-1 in Conference after dropping the heartbreaking game to Central Arkansas 31-24. Texas State has a great opportunity to win the conference this year and make it back to the playoffs. This weeks game is against the SFA Lumberjacks in Nachadoges, TX. SFA is 2-0 in conference and tied for first place with Central Arkansas. The next home game is November 1, 2008 against Northwestern State.

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