More face-to face needed for teams

Hunter O. LyleSports Editor

As part of the Week of Welcome, the women’s soccer team held a meet and-greet event outside of Moore Field House to kick off the academic year, as well as the 2019-20 season.

On a rainy, and otherwise gloomy day, the pizza, music and crowd of enthusiastic athletes convinced students to take part in the celebratory festivities.

This event, which on the surface was aimed at welcoming students back to school, could also be seen as a brilliant act of subliminal advertising – something more teams should participate in.

As touched on in the past, Southern has a large majority of commuter students, which diminishes the size of crowds at sporting events. The fact that most students do not stay on campus means there are typically not a lot of sold-out games – except during the playoffs.

Meeting students, and putting faces to the team in the way that the women’s soccer team did this past week, could really accentuate the fandom that surrounds each team.

Besides the coaching and the skill of the athletes, the fans and the atmosphere are the most impactful, and arguably most important, factor on gameday. Surely, a team, regardless of sport, will do better when they are playing in front of a booming ocean of passionate and electrifying supporters.

This school has seen the Blue Crew in full action, and the results are pretty concrete.

Last season, when the men’s basketball team made the NE 10 tournament and secured a first-round home game against Stonehill College, Moore Field House was crammed with cheering and jeering students.

That night, which resulted in the Owls winning 80-75, then-senior guard Kealan Ives fed on the crowd’s energy and dropped 37 points in just under 40 minutes, over double his regular season average for points (16.4 in 34 minutes).

Assuming that a larger crowd results in a better performance, every team at Southern should follow the women’s soccer team’s footsteps, attracting as many fans, both old and new, as early in the season as they can.

It is not out of the realm of possibilities that this strategy could produce a circular effect, where the team wins because there are so many fans, and the fans come to the games, because the team wins.

Either way, this way of thinking benefits both the teams and the students.

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