The biggest game in the world of sports is about to take the stage as millions of viewers count down the days and try not to overindulge on media coverage during the two weeks of wait.
An atmosphere can take a football game and make even more enjoyable. What makes the Super Bowl the Super Bowl is the atmosphere. The constant analysis the event receives for two weeks leading up to Sunday and the natural prestige between the opposing teams adds to the hype.
The students, fans and faculty at Texas State deserve a better atmosphere at their football games. They deserve to leave a game satisfied, win or lose. They hope to have a fun and enjoyable time. They should want and desire to stay through the fourth quarter.
No, Texas State will never have an atmosphere like the Super Bowl. No, it will never have the Ravens, Longhorns or Crimson Tide run through the tunnel at Bobcat Stadium. But, it can do better than the University of Wyoming Cowboys, who will be visiting San Marcos this year.
The inaugural game in the renovated Bobcat Stadium against Texas Tech University was a day to remember. The game was held in an almost brand-new stadium, filled with over 30,000 people screaming. Seeing the student section wave towels in a synchronized fashion to “All I Do is Win” is what we were waiting for anxiously for months.
Students waited in long lines, sometimes for thirty minutes or an hour, in 100-degree temperatures for Texas Tech tickets. The odds of students sweating to see the mighty 4-8 Cowboys of Wyoming are slim.
How many people even know the Bobcats are playing Wyoming? Texas State released several hype videos leading up to the big game with the Red Raiders, building any excitement the student body and local fans were experiencing. Marketing a major competition is essential for that event to be successful.
The Bobcats have no rival, hype or energy for the football program. These qualities were lost, repeatedly, in 2012 after every close game. At least the University of Texas-San Antonio has the University of North Texas, University of Texas-El Paso and Rice University joining them in Conference-USA. There will not be another Texas football team in the Sun Belt.
Texas State has not even released an official 2013 schedule because its conference is getting picked apart again. UTSA has an unfinished schedule, but the school enticed Oklahoma State University, a team that was in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl just last season, to travel to the Alamodome. The Roadrunners additionally have the University of Houston in 2013 at home. UTSA, sadly, can draw bigger programs than Texas State because of the larger venue and city and stronger backing.
Fixing the scheduling issues, which is at times out of Texas State’s hands, is only a portion of the solution. The game day atmosphere could be a whole lot better.
When UTSA hosted Texas State, its stadium was filled with excitement. It felt like a true rivalry game. The hosting university held contests for fans so spectators could win prizes during timeouts and between quarters. H-E-B even sponsored UTSA’s tailgating parking lot. The stadium was like an ocean of orange and blue. Throwing shirts and passing out pizza boxes in the stands just is not enough anymore, if it ever was, to keep fans engaged through all the lulls in college football games.
On that day, I realized Texas State could use an upgrade. The games can be dull. This is not necessarily from the game play, but because there is little excitement for the fans outside of the competition itself. The Texas Tech game was a tease of what a Texas State football game could be.
Texas State football will never have the environment of the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome during a Super Bowl. The university will most likely never host a home game as magical as its first back in September against Texas Tech. The date of the next major football event at Texas State is nothing more than a mystery.
The program needs excitement not only surrounding the team but the community. The players need the crowd screaming support for four quarters. Texas State needs its version of a Super Bowl.