New past time for America and Jess Dow
Hunter O. Lyle — Sports Editor
There seems to be a new past-time on Southern’s athletic fields, and it is not America’s historically favored baseball. Baseball’s little brother, football, has finally stepped out of the shadows.
Last Friday night, when the football team faced off against NE 10 conference matchup Assumption College, the stands were absolutely packed. As someone who has covered every sport on campus, I had never seen so many fans at a regular season game.
Music echoing all the way down Fitch Street, fans yelling until their voices cracked and students wearing all Owls gear, stomping in unison until the stands were shaking; the Blue Crew showed up in masses.
Comparatively, a regular season baseball game at Southern, even when facing Elm City rival University of New Haven, attracts little more than a handful of supporters.
This is not anything against Southern baseball, rather a look at the entire spectacle that football puts on for every game: the massive lights, the booming speakers and PA system, the concession building and both cheerleaders and the dance team, just to name a few.
Football, as a sport and as a business, was going to inevitably surpass baseball, and when you really dissect both sports, it is clear why.
Firstly, there are less games in a regular season of football than in baseball, meaning that each football game typically means more to both the team and the fans. For a team with a relatively short season, each win brings them closer to the playoffs. A shorter season could motivate the fans to go to games since they have less chances to watch their team.
On the other side of the coin, last year’s baseball season saw 48 games, with the exception that 17 of those games were played in Florida or the Carolinas. With this many games, fans may choose not to come and wait for another game later in the season.
The strategic placement of football games at the end of the week or on weekends, undisputedly helps bring students and fans, who are looking to end their week with some fun and excitement. Football also has the off the-field factor of tailgating, which helps get people pumped up and rowdy for the game. Football games are utilizing two events.
America has a new past time, and the results are showing at Jess Dow Field rather than the Southern Ballpark.