Are Bama fans bored with Winning
After the 52-0 thumping of the Arkansas Razorbacks last Saturday,and the media was wrapping up stories, tweets, and uploads, most of the stadium was empty while clean-up operations were underway. Actually, to be more accurate, half of the stadium was empty way before the game even ended.
But, I digress, so back to the story….
As I entered the elevator to leave the press-box there were a few people getting on the elevator with me. A couple of those people were from the Arkansas camp, coaches I believe, based on their shirts with the Hog prominently displayed and team bags packed for their return trip to Fayetteville. Given that the elevator is extremely slow a conversation in the small confines of the elevator started up. The first words to be spoken were from the Hog coach’s and was more like a shotgun blast to the group “man, these Alabama fans sure do seem to be bored with winning, don’t they?” The elephant in the room that he was referring to was of course regarding the nearly half emptying stadium mid-way through the game. I remember thinking that the stadium did seem unusually empty towards the end of the game, and there are several pictures floating around to prove it.
The Arkansas coaches were not the only ones to notice the lack of fans in the stands on Saturday. Alabama head coach Nick Saban also noticed and made a comment during his Wednesday evening press conference following practice. “I’ve talked about players playing for 60 minutes in the game and competing for 60 minutes in the game,” Saban said. “And, in some kind of way, everybody that chooses to go to the game should stay there and support the team for the game.”
When Alabama is on the road it typically means that the Tide is rolling big if the home stadium they are visiting is nearly empty. The Crimson Tide is known for having a good travel fan base and will take any ticket they can get to Roll with the Tide. Now, comparing the away game crowd to what was left in the stadium on Saturday during the 4th quarter of the Arkansas game, those crowd sizes were very similar.
Coach Saban has said on many occasions that he appreciates the fans that travel to the away games to support the team. But, that fan base is expected to be significantly smaller than the 101,821 capacity in Bryant Denny Stadium not similar or at least from an appearance perspective, similar.
The Arkansas coaches in the elevator continued the conversation by asking “has it been this way all year, are the fans that bored with winning big”? To which someone next to me stated “yes, pretty much”. The coaches responded “we thought it would be a better game ourselves, but it just seemed like the fans and students were not really interested or into the game much”. They went on to say “it’s really embarrassing for them to not play well but that it should be more embarrassing for Alabama that so many people left early while so many wanted to come to the game and it just looks bad”
Coach Nick Saban could not agree more based on his comments on Wednesday, “Maybe if you’re not interested in doing that, you should let someone else go who would really like to go because I have a lot of people who want to go,” Saban said.
When he first joined the Crimson Tide back in 2007 Nick Saban stated that everyone plays a part in building a championship team. To continue what he has started and the help contribute to the program he has built there is not much that a typical fan can do. However, Saban sees that from a different perspective and knows that there is more that goes into just paying for a ticket and attending the game. “We have lots of recruits there, we like to see an enthusiastic full stadium,” Saban said. “We have a beautiful stadium and one of the nicest venues in all of college football and I think we all should show our appreciation for it by staying and supporting our team for the whole game.”
So the question remains, are Bama fans bored with winning? Or, are they complacent and just expect to win and win big? Of course there are those games that every team goes into and expects to empty the bench to keep from scoring 100 points. Georgia State was that game for the Tide this year, but really every game except the Texas A&M game has been that way this year. Whether it’s the lack of quality opponents or that Alabama is just on a different level than nearly everyone else, the Tide has overpowered and dominated all season. Sure, there are some fans that want to see a good hard fought game like that of the 2011 LSU game (different outcome for Alabama of course) or the shoot-out game like that of Texas A&M on Sept. 4th 2013 and will be bored with anything less. But how would a majority of the fan base for Alabama react if the Crimson Tide came out and played with less intensity, less enthusiasm, and decided that they would leave mid-way through the game? Not much of a game I think.
About The Author
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.