That’s cool, you went to a men’s basketball game, now how about some support for others?

Josh Brannock

By: Josh Brannock, Sports Editor

 

With all the talk of everyone being part of the 99 percent, when it comes to fandom, I feel like I am in the 1 percent.

 

Now, I understand this is UNF, and sports teams haven’t reached the stage where they can be thrust into the spotlight like Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Miami and now University of Central Florida. And let’s be honest, when we’ve had a national audience, we haven’t quite made the best impact. Just take a look at the national championship game against Belmont from last season.

 

I work for both Osprey TV and the Spinnaker, and my forte is sports coverage. I’ve only been on the UNF campus for two years now, but I have already seen a slight change in support from students. The sad part is the change is only for men’s basketball games.

 

Men’s basketball is the marquee sport at UNF; it usually manages to draw a decent crowd. What I don’t understand is how a school can basically overlook nearly every other sport the campus has to offer.

 

I’ve covered a majority of the sports UNF puts on the field, court, diamond, etc. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been to a sports match where you can hear a pin drop even though excitement floods the event.

 

I went to a swim meet a few weeks ago, and parents of swimmers, swimmers themselves and the extremely high number of six to 10 UNF students surrounded me. The tennis teams, who are pretty good in the Atlantic Sun, get the same treatment.

 

The men’s tennis team took on Radford Jan. 16, a team who has dominated the Big South, and I’m pretty sure I saw maybe,  just maybe, five people other than tennis team players and the media relations person for the team.

 

I think it’s funny when I hear someone say the school needs a football team. Really, it makes me laugh a lot. How can you ask for a football team when the basketball team, not the women’s but the men’s team, can barely get more than 1,200 fans a game on a campus that has over 17,000 students? Although, from what I have heard from players and coaches, we have the best student section in the A-Sun, so I guess that’s a plus … right?

 

None of the school’s teams, other than men’s basketball and baseball from time to time, get the fan support they deserve. If the athletics department didn’t make the men’s golf team’s fifth-place ranking public at a basketball game and front-page news on its web site, I’m sure not many would know.

 

People want the school to grow and be successful, at least I hope. Yet, people don’t have pride in their school. I honestly feel bad every time I go to a women’s basketball game and see them play their hearts out for less than half of the men’s crowd, or when I go to a tennis match and see players, who are really good, playing with nobody watching.

 

You can blame who you want, whether it be the Spinnaker for not giving you enough of a heads-up on every sport, the athletics department for the same thing, advertising for not putting enough ads about sports on campus or your fellow students.

 

If you’re a sports fan on this campus, you are missing out on a lot. The school has a first-place rugby team, a top five-ranked golf team, a dominant hockey team, a talented men’s and women’s tennis team, an up-and-coming volleyball program and many other strong squads.

 

Sometimes I really hate going to games in which fans don’t show up because I feel like I can see the disappointment in every player’s eyes. So go to a tennis match, go to a softball game, go to a hockey game, show up early and watch the women’s basketball game. Go to something because these athletes put their hardest work and effort onto the field to represent your school. The least you could do is cheer them on.

 

Email Josh Brannock at [email protected]
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