Sunday, December 6, 2009
I don't know what to say . . .
I'm finally dry enough, almost 24 hours after the event, to write a few words about yesterday's 24-21 loss to the Mountaineers of West Virginia University on the last day of the year at Rutgers Stadium. Though I haven't read anything online since leaving the parking lot yesterday afternoon, I imagine that there have been a lot of words written about the number of dropped passes, a key missed field goal, underthrown passes, the defense's early porousness, the inexplicable coaching decisions at the very end of the first half, and the effect of the cold, rain and snow on all of the above.
I'll comment on something I know more about, the effect of the cold, rain and snow on the fans around me. The people who stayed until the end of the game (or at least until West Virginia's last first down with less than a minute left) in Section 123 were loud and standing throughout (as if it were possible to sit on cold wet aluminum for one second more as the wet snowflakes fell) and there was even good-natured shouting at those in blue and gold (and a little late-game pushing and shoving), but the number of no-shows, and large number of people who left during the second quarter, and at halftime, was inexcusable. If you buy tickets next year, consider yourself obligated to at least make it to the beginning of the fourth quarter. This wasn't a blowout like the loss to the Mountaineers the last time they visited in atrocious weather; this was a THREE-POINT loss. There's no honor in a close loss to these hicks for the umpteenth straight year, but this game was close, and I put the loss squarely on the shoulders of my fellow season ticket holders and students who didn't show up or left early. If you had stayed and screamed in that final quarter, it would have carried our boys to victory. Period.
Those of you who sought warmth and shelter probably aren't enough of a Rutgers football fan to read Rutgers football blogs either, but if you can't show up for a WESTFUCKINGVIRGINIA game, you probably shouldn't bother to show up at all. Wait until the BCS game is over and then transfer your fair-weather loyalties to the Crimson Tide or those beef cattle with the deformed horns from Texas.
Video Addendum: I got at least one response on Twitter pointing out that the fan exodus wasn't quite as bad as I had painted it up above.
Though the following scan of Rutgers Stadium shot during the Lil Jovi interlude isn't the best video in the world, it does show how many empty seats there were at this sold-out game at the beginning of the fourth quarter (except, of course, in that pie slice next to the student section filled with Mountaineer supporters):