We all have heard the term "Fair-weather fan". This usually refers to someone who will cheer for a team when they are winning and experiencing good fortunes.
My alma-mater has had fickle fans for a few years now, especially the students. I could call them "phantom" fans. Now you see them....now you don't. Has the GVSU football program fallen from grace? No, it's still winning games. However it appears a lot of people have become dissillusioned and complacent with the success this decade and have possibly gotten bored with it?
Here's the issue at hand. For years now, we pack our stadium to the brim in the regular season, averaging 150% capacity, with 4-6,000 students per game. However, when we make the playoffs and get a home playoff game, the fans dissapear. Our students don't seem to care that the games now mean life or death, and despite a free ticket, don't show. No one can seem to figure out the mental barrier with the student-body, and we've got the best minds in the business in the athletic department marketing team.
Now, West Michigan doesn't really seem to support the team much, especially during the playoffs. Whether it be the Whitecaps, Griffins or Lakers, the fans in West Michigan seem to dissapear during the post-season. Some have dubbed it the "West Michigan Mindset".
This has all finally culminated in what is going to occur this Saturday. GVSU will play Hillsdale at Lubbers stadium, and there will be more Hillsdale fans present than GVSU faithful, even student included. The numbers aren't lying and Hillsdale has begun to purchase tickets on our HOME side....the unthinkable is happening whether we believe it or not and there's nothing I can do.
As a true-blue Laker alum and supporter, this shame's me to my core. My school's spirit seems to really lack, and I think the issue needs to be addressed with the student body. How, I am not sure, but the issue needs to be pursued.
God Speed Laker Football, you'll need it Saturday on your home field.