Letter to the Editor: Poor game attendance is because of fans, not university

I am writing in response to an opinion article published in Wednesday’s Skiff about how TCU should be treated as a ‘football school.’ The writer states that “TCU needs to allow for a ‘football atmosphere’ to overtake the campus and the fans.” He says this “requires” students being allowed to storm the field, “extreme tailgates” and “die-hard fans.”

Now I agree that our fan base for football should be bigger. I love football. I am at every game, most of the time covered in paint and jumping around. But I don’t base going to the games on whether I can storm the field, or whether there is an “extreme” tailgate prior to the game.

Like the writer, I also have been at TCU for two years, and I personally have seen no change in attendance at the football games in the last three football seasons, despite that fact that the student tailgate was moved from Brachman to the Commons. In fact, I believe there were less fans at the games before the tailgate was moved because most students preferred to stay at the tailgate for the majority of the game.

As for sportsmanship, the writer spends most of the article, in his words, “drilling sportsmanship,” saying that “the hatred of our rivals must overwhelm us for just one day without anyone telling us to ‘play nice.'” He then turns around and says good sportsmanship is important. He states that when TCU beat No. 8 BYU, the fans were not allowed to “get rowdy and have fun.” On the contrary, the fans were allowed to get rowdy, and they were allowed to have fun. Trust me, I was there, as close to the field as I could get, being as loud as I could and there was no one there telling me that I was not allowed to have fun. The writer’s definition of fun must be being allowed to storm the field, and if that is the case, then yes, it’s true, the fans were not allowed to “have fun.” Now regardless of the reasons behind not being able to storm the field, whether it be safety or sportsmanship, we’re not allowed to. Get used to it.

The writer says that most of the schools with big fan bases are “state schools” with a lot of students who “lose their minds when their team scores.” He says this is because they have the passion and the support of the universities. If TCU didn’t support sports attendance, they wouldn’t let us go. If they didn’t support our attendance, there would be no reason to have sports of any kind at TCU. The fact is, they do, in fact, support students attending sports events on campus. Just because you don’t like certain rules set in place does not mean that the university does not support us. The reason there is low attendance at our football games has nothing to do with an “extreme” tailgate or being allowed to storm the field, it’s because our students obviously just don’t care about football. While this is unfortunate, it’s true. I’m one of those “die-hard fans screaming at every football game,” and I am joined by at least 15 of my friends who do the same thing. The only thing we need to improve attendance are fans who just love football and want to support our team. Go to the games because you want to, because you enjoy it and because our team deserves our support, not because there is an “extreme” tailgate or storming the field

Caitlyn Murphey is a junior radio-TV-film major from Fort Worth.