Everyone’s been talking about lack of student attendance and as a current Hoya Blue board member , I doubt that many are more frustrated than I am. As has been pointed out, as an organization this is what we’re supposed to be doing. Imagine being frustrated because you want all the students to care as much as you do, but then add to that everyone blaming you because they don’t. As a club we’ve been struggling with this all season, and are at a loss. Some of the ideas that have been mentioned are great, and we’re trying to get them implemented for next year. Others just aren’t really feasible for us or are beyond our scope (you think SAC is going to pay for busses for every game?).
For those of you who are the diehard fans, what made you that way? Why is it that you love Georgetown basketball so unbelievably much that you’re willing to camp out overnight on the streets of DC in the snow to get a front row for the Duke game? This is what we’re missing. For me the answer is, well, how could you not? Since I came to Georgetown I’ve loved basketball and given countless hours to it, and wouldn’t do it any other way if given a chance. But, why?
Hoya Blue is dedicated to all sports at Georgetown, not just basketball (which I realize is not the focus of this blog), but we face this frustration for every other sport as well as basketball, but all other sports are on a much smaller scale where a small increase in students makes a huge difference. We can tailgate, give free food, more incentives due to the smaller size. We can’t offer free pizza to everyone in attendance at Verizon. I’ll ask the question a different way. What makes you love Georgetown basketball so much but not show up to a women’s game? Are they women any less hardworking or deserving? No. But…come on… it’s women’s basketball. So what? I have that love for all of Georgetown sports, was at nearly every soccer game, volleyball game, football game, women’s basketball game because I have that love for Georgetown.
Hoya Blue can’t manufacture that kind of dedication if students simply aren’t interested, and since I can’t tell you what made me love the Hoyas, I don’t know how to make other people feel that way. I’m not sure if it’s the disillusionment based on our poor post-season performance that has caused a drop off in upperclassmen attendance, thereby decreasing the game atmosphere which then doesn’t excite underclassmen, or if it’s just general apathy. I don’t know. I will admit, as an organization we have been at a complete loss as to what to do differently. There are multimillion dollar professional teams that struggle with fair-weather fans. How do a less than 100 of us excite thousands of students into showing up? I agree that what we’re doing isn’t working, but from my perspective the issue is that basketball has become a lower priority and no amount of free rally towels or drawstring bags is going to convince students that a basketball game is something they absolutely can’t miss.
Going forward, we’re working with the Athletic Department to try and create more of a game day atmosphere. Someone has mentioned something on the concourse with face-painting etc. for students to do before game time to get excited. A downside to playing off campus is that every idea of this nature has to go from us to the Athletic Department to Verizon to be approved and unfortunately these things take time that we didn’t have to change anything for this season.
I appreciate that you guys are frustrated, and wanted you all to know that we’re frustrated too. Despite how it may look, we’re not just sitting around with the same apathy as the rest of the student body. We are trying, and if anyone has any ideas on how to manufacture that kind of love for the Hoyas without brainwashing the mediocre fans into our almost-cult like devotion, I’d love to hear it.