If you check out the link above you'll find an interesting blurb on the state of the Pac-10's attendance on a national scale. Ted Miller highlights where a number of schools are nationally ranked, with 4 in the top 30 in attendance. This may seem great, but of most import in the article is the following quote:
"Washington State ranked last in the nation in attendance among BCS conference teams (25,909)."
Let me reiterate that for you. Out of 73 schools playing BCS Division 1 football the Washington State University Cougar football team averaged the lowest attendance of them all. The same school that has proudly made it a tradition to appear on Gameday, waving our colors, showing our spirit, being a proud and defiant underdog for all the nation to see can not average more attendance per game than even one of more than 100 other schools. This is unacceptable and it needs to change, our fans need to realize that more than anything they have a responsibility to support their team or our message rings hollow.
For over 70 consecutive airings of ESPN College Gameday our flag, Ol' Crimson, has waved in the background. Other fans have embraced our tradition and helped us out when there were no Cougs that could get there, many have had their pictures taken with it. It is our status symbol, our COUGAR PRIDE that waves every time that flag sees airtime behind Corso, Herbstreit, or the other guy. To see that our attendance at home football games is the worst in the nation at this level is a slap to the face of Tom Pounds and every other Coug that has made the trip and taken the time to wave that flag knowing that if they couldn't be at Martin they could at least be a part of our Cougar Football Saturday by showing our colors, our pride, and our unflappable spirit to the rest of the College football. It has been a badge of honor being the school and the fan base that pioneered the flag waving campaign that so many others now copy but can't possibly hope to duplicate.
That campaign has now been undermined, if not completely, at least a little bit. We can not call ourselves the best fans in college football and point to that flag and then ignore the games because they may be a bit tough to sit through. Trust me, I've been there, every home game since 2004 I've either been in Seattle or Martin Stadium to cheer for my team. There have been some damned ugly defeats and some unbelievable victories in that time. Admittedly there have not been any bowl games and with the exception of '06 there really hasn't been any hope for one. That does not matter. This team has to go out and play as hard as they can against schools that can utterly destroy them right now, that's a given. The coaching staff has not sugar coated their assessments and they still have to go out and prepare a game plan every week. We as fans need to support our team, we do not have to like that we might/probably will get beaten, and sometimes badly, but we can not sit on our hands at home and complain and then turn around and point to Ol' Crimson as our pride and joy in the same breath. It can not be done that way. It makes us a disingenuous group of two faced fair-weather fans to do so and I personally can not abide that.
It's not hard folks, it really isn't. This fall if you have some time on a Saturday and you know there is a game get off your hands and get to the stadium. Students especially. I did not once sit in a full student section last year and this year I can't sit there. Fill it up. Pullman is not so action filled that there is much else better to do even if the team is bad. When this program turns the corner I know there are going to be a lot of people coming out of the woodwork to get on board, that's inevitable. All I ask is that we as a fan base, students, alums, and supporters get off our duffs and get to Martin. It's the least we can do. It's always hard to show support to something that struggles like our team does now, but in a couple of years it can and will pay off. However, in the meantime lets get out there and show support if only to keep our heads held high. I want to be able to point to the people that do their best to represent us with a proud face and call myself one of their own. We should all want to do that. The next time you think of not attending a home game think of those people out there that aren't lucky enough to be within reach of Martin and think of what they are doing to represent you and I to the rest of the college football world, then do your part, buy a ticket, swipe your sports-pass, and maybe invite a friend because it is our responsibility to represent them and make them look like we belong there. Lets get after it Cougs, rallying behind a flag is only worth it if we all represent what that flag is to stand for. Remember Ol' Crimson and remember Cougar Pride, if we all deal with the tough times together the good times will be that much better.