author: john loeppky | sports editor
Win streak puts Cougars athletics in enviable position
With the Rams boasting a 4-1 record, there is real hope that fans will continue attending the University of Regina’s sporting events throughout the year.
The Cougars schedule is highlighted by a number of events that get a large amount of fans. Homecoming for the basketball teams being just one, hotly contested matchups against our neighbours to the north being another. The problem is, fan attendance is pretty low in the grand scheme of things.
But if, and this is a relatively large if, those who came to Mosaic last weekend stick around for other events, the athletic department could be in for a banner year.
Granted, that would take a lot of causal fans that just wanted to see the new stadium’s innards converting to become green-and-gold supporters.
But, I don’t happen to think this is impossible. Yes, people were there to see the stadium, but this is a legitimately good team and the atmosphere was real. Put that number of fans (in fact, less because the CKHS doesn’t hold 16,000) and you’d have one hell of an atmosphere for other events.
If the soccer team had even a sixth of that amount at their games during the weekend, I have no doubt they would have put up a bigger fight against the University of Calgary Dinos.
Sure, there are some teams who will struggle for fans. It’s hard to get a large amount of people to watch wrestling, swimming, and track and field. Seating isn’t usually a priority at a CIS meet, but that doesn’t mean that new interest couldn’t pique media attention (I know, I know, practice what you preach) and find more athletes coming to the University of Regina to don the green-and-gold.
If we follow this tangential trajectory, more media attention = more athlete attention. More attention from athletes = more commitments; more commitments (from better recruits) = better results; better results = more funding, and thus the cycle continues.
People forget that athletic events can really electrify a campus. The flood of students who snapped up Rams tickets for the tilt against the Huskies are part of a micro example of what can happen when sports catch the collective attention. Bring that many people to a basketball game and suddenly the athletes, often divided from the rest of campus because of their athletic commitments, find themselves in the thick of the thing.
Quite frankly, I think this campus is scared of celebrating its athletes and I don’t believe that should be the case. Forget the old stereotypes of jocks with rocks in their heads; these are contributors to our campus – yes, even when they’re losing.