We’ve talked about this before, so it’s nothing that new. But it is kind of a natural time to re-approach the topic of ACC fan support in light of a recent observation made by EagleinAtlanta and the fact that one of the ACC’s best fanbases visit Raleigh this weekend.
I like to occassionaly take opportunities to educate and highlight items from athletics programs not named NC State because there are many fans out there who have no idea what athletic are like at other schools. If you haven’t been to many (basketball &/or football) games at a variety of other programs then it is hard to understand where NC State support is both good and bad. Most likely, however, a fan who hasn’t been to many other places would easily take for granted the strong support that both our basketball and football programs receive from Wolfpack fans when compared to other schools.
I wish that I could find some links to previous conversations that we have had about football fan support amongst ACC member institutions, but to this point I am not having any luck.
Of all of the schools in the ACC, it has always surprised me the most that Georgia Tech does not have better support. Additionally, it has always surprised me how well GT manages to recruit and perform on the field in light of fan support that is so sub-par and fails to compare with others. In a Lee Fowler world where coaching makes little impact and takes a back seat to facilities and support and everything else under the sun, the results generated by Yellow Jackets’ program are quite impressive.
My first eyewitness experience with this was in the middle/near the end of the Mike O’Cain years when NC State traveled to Atlanta for a very important 3:30pm ABC game vs a great Yellow Jackets team led by Joe Hamilton. The weather was PERFECT and…to add to the magnitude of the game…it was HOMECOMING at GT. If the game was played in Raleigh – even back then when football wasn’t as big as it is today – there is no doubt that Carter-Finley would have beeen filled to capacity. But in Atlanta, SEVERAL thousand seats remained empty. I remember sitting there wondering how the hell Georgia Tech could put together such a great product/program while we were/are mired in general mediocrity in light of the fact that they have such comparably poor fan support?
Well…another ACC blogger has noticed the exact same phenomenon. Take a look at this link from EagleinAtlanta from last week’s BC-GT game for a moment. Now, I think that we all find it a little ironic that a Boston College fan is criticizing another school for poor fan support…but, exclude the hypocrisy of BC and focus exclusively on Georgia Tech.
How do they do it?
Those are empty seats for a primetime night game against a ranked opponent. Is Georgia Tech now bush league? No. Yet you’ll hear BC critics and TOB mention our occasional attendance issues when talking about BC. Once again let me restate, I want a packed house every week, but attendence has nothing to do with what happens on the field.
^ I ardently beg to differ.
First, attendance manifests itself in both energy and noise during a game. This leads to increased levels of emotion and energy on the field. Heck, if ANYONE should understand the impact of attendence….the folks at Boston College should recognize one of the primary reasons that an inferior NC State team was able to remain within striking difference in last year’s game with the Eagles was because the value of ‘home field advantage’.
NOBODY argues that the concept of ‘home field advantage does not exist? Well, you don’t have any home field advantage if you don’t have people in the stands.
More broadly, attendance creates a perception of support. Support helps with recruiting. Recruiting raises talent within a program. Talent raises performance on the field.
HOW in the world can attendance NOT impact what happens on the field?
For an addendum to this entry, make sure that you check out MrO’s comments in the #1 slot just below.