Trojan fan base lacks energy

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first_imgThis weekend, I’m continuing a long-standing tradition.Please excuse the hyperbole, but treating it with humor is the only way I can make myself feel better about this. I’m headed home for a few days to start what, in all likelihood, will be another basketball season during which I will attend more San Diego State games than USC games.No Enzone · Men’s basketball head coach Andy Enfield wants to bring excitement to USC, but attendance at the Galen Center is still flagging. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanBoth of my parents graduated from SDSU and my dad is just about the most intense fan you can imagine. Over the course of three seasons (2009-2011), he attended 104 of 105 games — both home and away.Because of him, I grew up watching San Diego State basketball, and I must admit I got spoiled. The Aztecs continued to improve over the years, at one point climbing to No. 4 in the nation, and as they improved, they developed a pretty incredible fan base.San Diego State’s student section, which shows up in huge numbers to every game, calls itself “The Show,” and they’re a ridiculous group of people. They hold up newspapers when the opposing starting lineup is being announced, then crumple them up and throw them in the air when the lights go out before the Aztecs’ starting five come out. They get the whole stadium to participate in the “I believe that we will win” chant. They wave around signs with weird celebrities’ faces on them during opponents’ free throws. One guy used to always dress in a banana suit. It’s just wild.On Twitter, The Show has 8,558 followers and describes itself as follows: “The San Diego State Student Section. Often imitated, never duplicated. You won’t like us. We don’t care.”Guess how many followers USC’s basketball student section, “The Enzone,” has on Twitter? If you guessed a measly 340, you were right. What’s perhaps worse than that is that The Show has more than twice as many followers as USC’s actual men’s basketball Twitter page (4,131), which really goes to show how little we value basketball here at USC.I can’t really blame our students for not going to basketball games. The team went 11-21 last year and finished dead last in the conference, which is certainly not fun to watch. But — and this isn’t rocket science — maybe if more students showed up, the team would be more successful. This idea might hold more weight in basketball than in any other sport, with the close quarters and ability for players and fans to interact. USC averaged just 4,370 people in attendance through its 16 home games last year. That’s less than half the capacity of the Galen Center.But me sitting here preaching about going to basketball games is hypocritical. I personally didn’t go to a single game last season. In my defense, they played a lot of Wednesday and Thursday night games, when I was stuck in the Daily Trojan office laying out pages. And the one time I got close to going, I was coming from work and they wouldn’t let me in because of my backpack.But I’ll get off of my pedestal when talking about USC’s men’s basketball games, because like I said, I’ll be down in San Diego this weekend watching the Aztecs play Cal State Northridge rather than watching our Trojans host Portland State in their home opener on Saturday night.I’d argue that USC’s miniscule student section at basketball games is a microcosm for the school’s whole fan base. This year, I’ve come to a sad realization that I’ve been trying to fight off my whole time here: USC’s fans just aren’t that impressive.During the few football games I’ve covered from the press box, I’ve stared across the Coliseum at the student section as it thins out to half its amount by halftime. About a week ago, Scott Wolf of L.A. Daily News reported that USC returned about 4,000 of its 15,000 tickets allotted for the Trojans’ game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Nov. 22 because they went unclaimed.I understand that the Trojans have disappointed some fans this season by losing three games that most can agree they could have and should have won, but true fans should stick by their team. When I decided to come to USC, I fully bought into the idea that USC was a football school. Since I’ve been here, fewer and fewer students have truly embraced that idea, and I’d love to see that change.I’d love people all over the country to consider USC’s student section a formidable one. It shouldn’t even be a conversation. USC has one of the best athletic programs of all time, across the board (the Trojans just won their 100th NCAA championship in May). I urge those who call themselves a part of the Trojan Family to make an effort this year.Go to all the remaining football games. Stay the whole time. Head out to the Galen Center for men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball. Try to catch USC’s six-time defending national champion men’s water polo team play at home for the last time this season on Saturday. Make USC proud.Don’t have anyone to go with? My email is below.Aubrey Kragen is a senior majoring in communication. Her column, “Release the Kragen,” runs Fridays. To comment on this story, visit or email Aubrey at [email protected]last_img

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