Letter to the Editor

Student section lacks enthusiasm for SU sporting events

There is no denying that Syracuse University has a proud sports tradition in football, basketball, lacrosse and many other sports.

However, it is also painfully clear that student fan support of these programs along with our fan culture in general is, quite frankly, terrible. If our students were as proud of our programs as many of them claim to be, nobody would leave games early, no matter if we are winning in a blowout or getting blown out. The student section would be in full voice from the beginning of whatever game to the final whistle, and every single student would stay and sing our Alma Mater.

But anyone who has been to an SU home game knows that is not the case; our student section is not loud and intimidating, only providing a low hum of lukewarm chants unless it’s a close game. At least half of the student section is heading for the exits at halftime for football games (even big ones), and that holds true for most nonconference basketball games as well. Of the students that are left at the end of games, I would say less than 10 percent stay for the two-minute long Alma Mater, a proud Syracuse University tradition.

What is even worse, in my opinion, is the fact that SU could have been one of the best student sections in the nation. Think about it: Syracuse probably has the most unique sports venue in the country, especially for football. A huge domed stadium where sound literally gets trapped inside? Sounds pretty formidable. Additionally, Syracuse is unusually large for a private university, giving us the chance to have one of the largest student sections in the country.

However, we fail to take advantage of these characteristics. I hate to break it to everybody, but no one is afraid to play us in the Carrier Dome. Why? Because our fan culture, even though many of our students think otherwise, sucks.

How we’re going to become an instrument of fear for our opponents I don’t know, but what I do know is we owe it to our athletes and coaches to make this change. Also, I’m sure there are plenty of SU students who think I’m dead wrong. To them I say: Prove me wrong; you’ve got plenty home games to do it.

Patrick Fallon
Class of 2016

  • John Paul Chunga

    Bravo, sir! I’m glad you penned this. The Dome lacks an atmosphere. Really on point Mr. Fallon.

  • c j

    This is my reaction as I read this:

    Yea, our fans suck!
    Yea, I yell and scream like a crazy person!
    Yea, I get told to sit and it drives me nuts!
    Amen brother! I hate when these damn fans leave before the game is over.
    Sing the alma mater? What did he say? Yea, about that, I couldn’t recognize our alma mater or fight song if you gave me free tickets.

    Back to the rallying points.. Ill tell you what we need.. A 30k seat OPEN AIR stadium!! That will keep the pink hats and old people home!!!!!

  • c j

    Class of ’94

  • jc

    Preach it. I’ve never been more embarrassed by my classmates than at the Final Four game in Atlanta last year. Students paid God knows how much money to stand there and NOT cheer for the game. It was the FINAL FOUR. You should be losing your g-ddamn mind the entire game. I’ve never seen such apathy from students that were allegedly there to support their school. I think sporting events have turned into more of a social event and fashion show than what it actually is– a chance to show up, represent your school, and cheer your team on. If you’re not capable of doing that– GO HOME. It’s embarrassing to watch our student section on TV and see a bunch of sorority and fraternity stereotypes looking at their phones the entire game. Shape up.

  • Pat Kelly

    Have to disagree with this. Longest home winning streak in basketball says otherwise about opponents not fearing the Dome. SU is not a huge state school and never will be and not everyone is a sports fan. I have plenty of friends who go to different schools who would tell you to not take for granted the great fan support we do get, because they don’t have that everywhere.

  • Joshua Nadler

    It’s easy to say what the issue is, but a lot harder to change it. All the fans that go to the games know this issue already, and thats what this article does, reiterates it. I would like to read an article that addresses the problem and proposes a solution. Better yet, any and every SU student that wants to promote a better student section and fan base: Reach out to Otto’s Army. If you want to make a change, they are the group that can help the most; but people need to show their support. The Daily Orange is only cannibalizing their school in this article. You have made some alumni happy with this article, but you have also angered current students who do all they can to help better the student section. I guess that is your goal as a writer. However, saying the obvious does not bring in results, nor does stirring the pot. If this is truly an issue that is important to you there are more effective ways to go about addressing it. Patrick Fallon, I challenge you to make a difference in this matter. Contact Otto’s Army and learn about what we have been doing and our goals for the future. Perhaps you may want to write an article with a little more in-depth research that could benefit our school rather than segment it.

    Also, lets look at the scope on which this article is based. You are writing this article in response to the lack of a student section for a below .500 football program and the first few out of conference basketball games. I am not using this as an excuse for a poor fan base. I go to the games, I scream, cheer and stay to the alma mater. But you cannot judge an entire fan base on such a low quality and small sample size. As a writer or reporter, this article lacks authenticity. You did not talk to anyone, you simply “eyeballed” the ten percent of students that stay to the alma mater. No one is afraid to play us in the Carrier Dome? Where did you come up with that statistic? These generalizations are not true and should not be made by the Daily Orange.

    Your opinion is your opinion, but when you post it on an open forum such as this you need to bring in credibility. Otherwise, readers are left with nothing substantial. Again, I encourage you to contact Otto’s Army and work with us rather than do what you did in this article.

    …Something to consider.

  • Malcolm Brooks

    I watched the Duke game after SU beat Indiana. SU students need to take some lessons for them. Sure the Dome is fearful to visitors for the amount of people, but look and compare to the noise and students of Duke! (I HATE Duke BTW) GO Cuse! (class of ’88)

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