Smaller sports deserve school spirit

Marco Cicchino, Staff writer

Let’s face it: Do folks on this campus have a serious bias towards the sports that generate the most revenue for the school and are by far the most popular on other campuses?

How exactly does a football game bring 2,500 to Tullio, but a contest at the Ice Center — lest I forget at the Division I level! —can’t even halve that?

Has anyone found this to be a significant issue?

It was just 19 months ago that yours truly put a much-needed editorial in this very publication that sought to solve this very issue.

A necessary student section, I thought, would not generate insane school spirit, but also drive people to attend other sporting events on campus.

Look, I get that our high-profile sports obviously drive the fans to come show support, and that’s awesome and perfectly fine as it is.

But why stop there?

Why not be like me and attend as many games as you can?

Besides, wouldn’t you want your friends to come watch and support you?

Allow me to pose a question and inquire as to why the high-profile sports on campus are just that.

What is it that drives your average Laker to come out in droves for football, men’s basketball and men’s ice hockey, but not for most other sports?

It cannot be the lack of knowing when they’re going to occur — everything is in the Weekender.

Do people not take note of what they consider to be unimportant emails since everyone is so preoccupied with not missing a single trip to the Barrel, Cornerstone, Plymouth or other popular
watering hole every single weekend?

Hey, I’ll be doing the same when I turn 21 next July, but why not find time before the Night Owl bus leaves at 12:20 in the morning to have some fun on campus and support your fellow Lakers at the same time?

And let me give you some more music to face: I consider it absolutely appalling for these fans, who do everything they can to support football and men’s basketball and men’s ice hockey, to find a sliver of their time to do the same for their female counterparts.

What is it about women’s sports that keeps people, except close family and friends, away?

I get that I’m personally close with a lot of those athletes, but even if I were not, I would still go out and watch.

Think about it: not only does it give you something to do and allows you to get out of your room or apartment and get involved on campus, it also makes the athletes themselves feel good and have more drive to win that you decided to give some of your precious time to them.

My suggestion, rather, imploration for all students out there: Whatever you do this weekend, please consider supporting one of the most consistently successful programs we’ve ever had (no offense to our 2011 national champs in men’s lacrosse or insanely-successful wrestlers) and fashion a rowdy student section on Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. when sixth-ranked Minnesota locks horns with our ice hockey women.

How is it, exactly, that a mediocre men’s program can fill the Ice Center to capacity and create a true home-ice advantage, but a multiple-times-more-successful women’s team cannot even get a decent student turnout for their contests?

We may have had the fifth highest attendance for women’s ice hockey last year, but we would have had a sizeable lead over everyone else if they came out in the same droves and generated the same hype ad energy as they did at and about men’s games.

At most other schools, this would be unacceptable and extremely embarrassing and disappointing, but sadly (and maybe as a silver lining) we’re not alone.

How about we buck that trend and give the 14-time CHA champions and history-makers with 11 pairs of ballroom shoes in 13 years, the utmost respect they actually deserve?

And even with less successful women’s programs: Some of them may be your own classmates and you may not even know it.

Perhaps it’ll be you that can spark them to victory, and that could be the difference in making a PSAC or even national tournament.

Not to mention this newsflash: basketball and women’s lacrosse have both gone dancing within the last two years, and it was as recent as 2012 that our softball team finished over .500.