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Families Gather For Quiet Day, Football Game Breaks Out

My senior year, we were in the student section at the SU-UConn basketball game when three people who did not belong sat down behind us. Somehow, three much older gentlemen from the "great" state of Connecticut had purchased tickets that put them smack dab in the middle of the students. As I'm sure you know, we spent the next two hours standing and cheering and as such, they spent the next two hours complaining.

Now, perhaps they did get bad luck in sitting right behind the student section but still, assuming these guys were longtime college basketball fans, how did they not know or understand this is what happens at a game? This is how it works at a college sporting event. You only have to attend a handful to know this going in.

And so, that brings us to
Bud Poliquin's column today. It's an email from Ken Kicinski, a season-ticket holder who had a rather fan-unfriendly experience at the Dome during the Cincy game:

I'm a season ticket holder for five years. I started with four tickets, then went down to three and now I'm at two. My seven-year-old son and I sit in the corner end zone about 12 rows up on the aisle (1st tier). As you're well aware, virtually all of the seats were empty even though there was an announced crowd of 30,040.

When SU was at the 20-yard-line or so, my son and I stood up to cheer for a 1st-and-10 situation. Next thing you know, the usher is tapping me on my shoulder telling me that I have to sit down because the people behind me can't see. I look behind me and tell him that there isn't anyone behind me except four rows up. Next to me, in the next section, there is no one behind me for five rows. I'm not being rowdy, swearing and for that matter even booing.

Within two minutes, the usher has two Syracuse Police Department officers with him. They ask me what's going on and I explain to them that I believe it's my right to stand and cheer as I choose. The officers agree. They then offer to move my son and me so that there are no other problems. We get moved over one section and back another six rows.

At halftime I go back to say good-bye to the people in front of me and wish them happy holidays. One of the ladies tells me that it's rude and inconsiderate when I stand for first downs and that it's only allowable on third downs . . . and the usher agrees. I pull out my ticket and ask them to show me where this rule is written, and they can't. The usher tells me that I can now return to my seats and stand and cheer all that I want. It just so happens that the two elderly ladies were leaving at this time. He tells me that since they are leaving that I can now stand when I choose.

None of this surprises me in the least. The Dome has always had a "Real Fans Sit Quietly And Spend Money" feel to it at the end of the day. They bank of the fact that the hardcore fan will keep coming back no matter what so its better to appease the fair-weather families and alumni who don't really care about the game but might just buy a sweatshirt before they go.

When your football team is 10-2, I guess I can live with that kind of mentality because at least everyone's getting what they came for. But at 2-10, and on the cusp of another miserable season...The Dome and SUAthletics are in for a rude awakening next year. Just wait until the rumored Division 1-AA home game when announced attendance dips into the 20,000's and actual attendance rivals that of a Crunch home game. Maybe then it'll be okay for the few brave souls remaining to cheer on their team.

Thanks to Axe for the heads-up.