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):


Joaquin said...

Sir, we are in complete agreement. I'm embarrassed, disgusted and sometimes greatly angered by the majority of Rutgers "fans". That being said, again, the ones who stayed are my kind of people. Love 'em. My season tickets were in 120A by the way. I ended up moving over to the front row of 121 because everyone in my section was sitting down and I'm tired of having to sit down because everyone can't see behind me. I'm very frustrated by the lack of support.

Beat Visitor said...

Here's a suggestion. Maybe the University should simply remove the seats and have steps on which we all can stand. The only words that should be banned in Rutgers Stadium are "Down in Front."

As I heard at a recent Jets game from a guy with a green cape and a Burger King mask: "Hey, you're here. You might as well cheer!"

Anonymous said...

I was there until to the last knee of WV even I had to move to the underneath of the upper deck to keep myself dry in the 2nd half. I got wet enough!

I disagree with your conclusion. I think that the team has to win first in order to ask the fans to stay and support them on a heavy rainy and snowy day that of yesterday.

After giving two easy touchdowns in the 1Q, the defense played very well rest of the game. It shows that they are capable of playing in a high level. Where were they in the beginning of the game?

I am not in a blame game as everybody (the coaches, the players, and yes, the fans as you pointed out) deserves some blame of the lost. But for this game, much of the blame goes to the coaches! They did not prepare and motivate the team very well early enough just before starting the game. By the time the team were warmed and motivated, we were down by two touchdowns!

It is hard to come over two early touchdowns on a day that is rainy and snowy. In spite of this, the team had a chance to win but they could not do it. If they did, the fans would not leave the game early in the future!

Joaquin said...

You make absolutely no sense. The fans didn't even show up for kickoff. They left well before the outcome of the game was known. Leave it at this: Most of the people at games are knee-jerk bandwagon "fans" who have a very tenuous grasp on the game of football.

They leave because they don't understand what they are watching and have no real connection to the program. Oh, and when you say they need to win first before expecting people to stay, what logic are you using? They have been winning. They are going to their fifth straight bowl game. Why don't you take up knitting or something?

Devin McCullen said...

Re: the late-game pushing and shoving.

Yeah, I was SHOCKED that the guy who was doing push-ups with no shirt on wound up getting into a fight. Although, given how long it took security to show up, maybe the place wasn't as empty as we thought.

I stayed until Brown stiff-armed Johnson for the 1st down - but I park over at the RAC. (BTW, the buses were running better yesterday than I've ever seen before. Nice job.)