MBB success paying dividends with fans
Something special is happening around the campus of Seton Hall University right now. As sports fans, and a student body, we are witnessing the success of a basketball program that has not been this relevant since the late-Eddie Griffin told America he was coming to South Orange in 2001.
With new found success, and a national spotlight, more people than usual are starting to take interest in the Pirates once again. According to NCAA.com, Seton Hall is currently averaging 6,336 fans per game, good for 81st in the nation. Just to throw that in perspective, Gonzaga the No. 3 ranked team in the nation, only averages 6,000 fans per game. On average the blue and white faithful are showing their true colors more than one of the nation’s best teams.
The success of the Pirates on the hardwood is translating into a morale boost on the campus, as well. A sense of unity and pride can be felt in between these buildings and walkways. Here we sit as a student body with our basketball program garnering national attention, and for once it really feels like we attend a Division I school. Let’s run with this feeling, with this spark our team has given us, and give it right back to them.
I was in attendance as a fan at that historic game against then-No. 6 ranked Villanova on Saturday, Jan. 3. The Rock was packed, and the fans were cheering all game like they have been bleeding blue their entire lives. It was electric, and it sparked magic for our team. When the squad ran over to the student section to embrace us and show their appreciation for us after that win, it became apparent that the success of the team is directly correlated with our presence at those games. So show up, get there and yell as loud as you can. Let the team know you are with them for 40 minutes. More importantly, let our opponents know we are there, too. There is nothing like home-court advantage in college basketball, and we have seen that first hand.
As a Pirate whether you have watched every game since you set foot in South Orange, or if you just flipped on the games once we get a little number next to our names, it makes no difference. Right now this team needs you. We can all watch a Cinderella story unfold over these next few months, that much is apparent. But in order for a team full of talented freshmen, sprinkled with some veteran experience, to fully succeed they need to feel like they are one of the nation’s 25 best teams. For that to happen, we need to be right beside them.
For three straight weeks our Pirates have found themselves with that ever elusive number stamped right next to their names. As it stands, we are currently the 24th best basketball team in the country, and there is plenty of basketball left to be played. So stay excited about this team, feel pure joy when they win and get mad when they lose, this is our team and our school. Back them up with everything you have, and let them know we’ll be right by their side as they march into the Madness.
Dennis Chambers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org