Thursday, December 11, 2008

Faced by Idaho!

The inexplicably lame and silent Kohl Center crowd on Tuesday was not only noticed by me and other real Badger fans, but also by the Idaho State beat writer traveling with the team. And he called the fans out. Hilarious:

"Wisconsin’s basketball fan base makes me feel spoiled to have ever attended Kansas games for four straight seasons. In short, the Badgers fans in the stands for Tuesday’s game against Idaho State were H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E. There were at least 12,000 of them, and the Kohl Center felt deader than Century High’s gym. Holt Arena gets louder than the Kohl Center did on Tuesday. In my own opinion, it was pathetic. A good number of students attended the game, but hardly any of them cheered. A student told me that was because student tickets are now being chosen at random instead of by how long a certain group of fans camps out for seats. I’m sure that hurts. But c’mon. Regardless of seat selection and the opponent, students should be able to chant “Defense” or “Let’s go Badgers” on key possessions. The Kohl Center was silent for all but the final play of the game."

That's right, Badger fans have been called out by a guy from Pocatello, Idaho. Yow. Thus, I now proclaim that it is indisputable-- the fans at the Kohl Center suck. They're staid, fair-weather, largely disinterested, and, above all, overly meek. But why? And what can be done to fix the problem?


Hopped Up said...

Allow all the (of age) fans to have beer, instead of just the folks in the luxury boxes. It will scare off some of the red sweater folks and make people more vocal. It is pathetic how dead that crowd was, but half of them were probably shitting their Depends when Idaho State was still within 5 points late in the 2nd half.

Randy Moss said...

i dont give a flying rats piss bomb what douchy suckbang from the idaho statesmantennial says.
if the badgers are gonna play idaho state that close, ill root for idaho state. as i rooted for "THE CITADEL" when Mr. Man and i went to watch their spread offense do us like appalachy state for a half 2 years ago.
dont be afraid to punish your team when they are underachieving. spite is an important part of effective fanaticism. (effective in the sense that it accomplishes what it can accomplish independent of your teams performance, which is vital when supporting teams that love to shit the bed).
"THE CITADEL" is still my squad.

Mr.Man said...

I'm going to relay the Pops' comments, which he sent via email. Here you go:

Atmosphere: I understand why the Kohl Center crowd wasn’t close to capacity on Tuesday night: there had been a mucho-ballyhoed and fear-mongered snow storm and the roads were not great. Neither was the opponent, altho’ the Badgers just eked out a pathetically embarrassing victory (Landry said the team performance rated a zero on a 10-point scale). But if 12,000 folks struggled through the snow to get there, you’d think they would have been a little more motivated.

I think luxury boxes are stupid, but you can’t blame the people socializing in boxes for the dead crowd. It’s everything: unexciting pre-season schedule (Texas will be this year’s exception); too much security – too many blue-shirted fascists whose apparent job is to keep the students under control; a band led by a band leader that either needs to retire or to seriously borrow a new energized schtick and work up a new play list; a student section that is too small; a student section that has not only been called out by the Idaho beat writer but by a local beat writer [it was Rob Schultz a couple of weeks ago, I think, that essentially said the same thing and criticized the university for its student ticket allotment system that results in – apparently – many students getting tickets through a lottery allotment, and then selling them to other people; rather than the old system of first-come first-sold that had students camping-out outside the Kohl Center to get first dibs on seats, ergo resulting in students that really wanted the tickets and best seats getting them]; plus a general been-there, done-that attitude within the non-student audience [too much of the red-sweater-crowd of older and long-term season ticket holders].

If demand for seats exceeds supply, I still don’t understand why a season-ticket is a permanent contract with the season-ticket-holder. I think the U should turnover a certain percentage of seats every year (limiting your season-ticket tenure to 5 years or 10 years, for example) and then bring in a fixed number of new people every year. But the whole Kohl Center atmosphere needs a do-over, and all the constituent parts of the entertainment experience need revision. It would be a good start if the comments of the Idaho writer were given publicity in the local press – non-student fans, students, and the U need to be embarrassed out of their lethargy.

Mr.Man said...

As for myself, in response to my Randy friend, I don't like to boo amateur athletes. (I will heartily boo professionals, however, and I support booing college coaches, when they can be segregated from the players.)

Thus, at collegiate events, I am for positive reinforcement. When your team gets dunked on by some "Bengal from Pocatello" you get up out of your seat, shout "come on! What the hell is going on out there!" Then, the next time UW's on defense you start cheering and clapping. You don't make a face like you're holding in flatulence and wooden spoon yourself another bite of chocolate malt cup. Ugh.

Randy Moss said...

who said anything about booing.

Mr.Man said...

Fair enough. You were referring to rooting for the other team, right?

Randy Moss said...