Monday, November 5, 2007

Fans making a difference

"Homecoming, man - it is just a good thing for us, I guess," said UA wide receiver Mike Thomas. "For some reason we always come out on top during Homecoming. I guess the environment really helps us out."

Mike Thomas was onto something with his statement after the University of Arizona Wildcats continued their Homecoming tradition of upsetting a California based opponent on Homecoming. It's time to dig in and look at why this is happening every year. And I think it can be brought down on the Zona Zoo and specifically the recent crops of Freshman at the U of A. It has nothing to do with the fact that it's homecoming. It has nothing to do with being amped up because they're a dog a home. It has nothing to do with earlier start time or national TV coverage. It has to do with the fans. Homecoming is a big game and people make it to that game who haven't made it to others. They're in town and these are the people who were here during the Desert Swarm years, or at least watched the Desert Swarm years. But here's the problem. We're all gone now and these new Freshman were still in diapers when we were running through Miami in the Fiesta Bowl (29-0, 1993). They look at football games as something to do for an hour, and usually leave at half, even if we're winning. If we're losing the student section is empty by the 3rd quarter. How is a team gonna make a rally when their home fans don't think they can pull it off? Losing games are when the stands should be at their loudest and trying to bring the team back into the game. I was sitting with a few friends on Saturday's game (a couple other alumni and a couple of Tucson natives who are taking a long break from the U of A). All we could discuss was the lack of fire in the Zona Zoo on Saturday, and it was the best I've seen it all year. Some of us can't afford to go to every game and don't get the benefit of the cheap student pass to the games. But for those who do get the pass, why aren't you using it?

Students I implore you go to the game against Oregon next Thursday, fill the stands an hour before kick-off don't stop making noise until the final buzzer sounds. Show these teams that Arizona is a pushover no longer, Macovick is gone and it's time to pull off a couple of surprise wins over top 10 teams, and we've got the chance to do it, and in the National Spotlight. If we go 6-6 we're bowl eligible and with a couple high profile wins (Oregon and @ ASU) that might do well in picking up one of those at-large bids floating around. Let's see some support next week, and get something special started for next season. It's up to you Cats fans it 'aint basketball season until the football season's over. Aren't you sick of telling your friends, "wait until basketball season" the folks in Florida and UCLA and USC and now UCONN don't have to do that. Wouldn't it be nice to be ranked in both sports polls, especially with the recent propensity of the basketball team to lose in March. The fans can make things change, can turn around the losing atmosphere and environment found at Arizona Stadium earlier in the year. Let's just hope we aren't a couple years away from telling our friends, "Oh yeah, just wait till Softball season"

Go Cats.