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Rutgers & B1G Attendance: disclaimers, jealousy, and whiny excuses!

Yeah, I’m on a roll this week!

A general view of 'The Big House' Photo by Danny Moloshok/Getty Images

Another week in the Big Ten, this time with all 14 teams in conference action.

The Disclaimer

“Bob yells at us.” “What does Bob want!?” “What does Bob expect?”

Okay, I’ll admit I want a full house every time Rutgers plays at home. I’ll also admit - as many of you have commented - that if you put a better product on the field, a more exciting team, you’ll have a much easier time of getting people to go to games.

There! I said it. Look, I get it: Rutgers has been bad on the field for more than a few seasons now and the New York metro area has a bunch of things for people to do besides go to a Rutgers game. By the way, on the flip side, I don’t buy the parochial attitude of some that in those flyover states “there’s nothing else to do”. They have lots of things to do and spending money on football games takes a chunk of their discretionary income, just as it does ours. They have a long history of supporting their state university. New Jersey has a long history of not even liking its.

All that being said, I want Rutgers to be successful and I also want the whiny excuse making for why we can’t go to and stay at Rutgers games to STOP! If you want to, and can, go to the games, great. I’m happy. If you can’t or don’t want to, that’s okay, too. Just please....please....stop making silly excuses.

Jealousy....yes, I am jealous

On another note - since this is my post and I can rant - I am jealous of those places that can get those huge and super supportive crowds. Yes, I want to be a part of that. My oldest daughter went to Virginia Tech (she said she wanted to go to a school that had a good football program, although that was not her primary reason). And my youngest went to Tennessee. Yes, I’m jealous. Although my young Vol has been the brunt of more than her share of verbal abuse over the last few season (i.e. Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley, Butch Jones). Their ornaments were hung higher up on the Christmas tree a lot more than the Rutgers ornament.

Speaking of whiny excuses

One of my [least] favorite ones is, “No one wants to get up for a noon start!”

Then there’s....

I will give YeOldeRaritan credit for staying to the end as a student. But, really....

Football games are long

Not excusing people leaving during a close game, but it’s a significant chunk of time out of a Saturday, especially if you park at the RAC and then need to take the bus back over to your car. I’ve definitely left early to be able to find a seat on the bus and beat traffic (though it was when we were very clearly VERY behind).

As a student, I have to say my friends and I rarely left early (even watching us lose to WVU (again) in the rain) but such is the life of an undergrad.

Posted by YeOldeRaritan on Oct 24, 2017

They’re long? Generally, about three hours. I do know that TV can drag out games, but.... I’ll stop.

Memo to Pat Hobbs

Dear Pat,

Do something about the buses! Too many people say how crowded/slow/late/inconsistent they are in getting fans to and from parking lots.

Here’s a suggestion: create express lanes on the perimeter roadways to get the buses where they need to go more efficiently. Take away another excuse for arriving late and leaving early.

Around the Big Ten

It took a road trip but Rutgers was a part of the largest crowd in the conference this past weekend. And the second largest crowd saw an incredible game, a wonderful game, a glorious game. #NoKoolAideTonight

On the Banks graphics

It’s that time of year when weather can be a factor. I will include it to help gauge the attendance. But this is the Big Ten; the midwest (sorta) weather can be tough. Nonetheless, I thought Northwestern’s crowd was a tad disappointing, although it was the third largest crowd of the season. The Cats were 4-3 coming in and facing a pretty hot MSU team. Purdue....poor Purdue. Lose to Rutgers, hell, you might as well shut down the program! And Illinois, facing the best team in the West on Homecoming, draws just over its season average.

I will admit, by the way, that when I created the chart on Big Ten attendance, I was going to sort it on the basis of % Capacity. But then I realized if I just did it on straight attendance, Maryland would come in last. Oopsy!

Now, Rutgers fans, the challenge is presented, the gauntlet thrown down. This Saturday at High Point Solutions Stadium the Knights host Maryland.

  • A very important game.
  • A winnable game.
  • No longer at hated Yankee Stadium with its horrible sight lines and lousy tailgating and expensive bridges to cross yadda yadda yadda.
  • It’s. At. Home.
  • And it’s part of a wrestling/football doubleheader.
  • The current forecast for Saturday? Partly sunny, with a high near 59: that’s football weather!

Through five games, Rutgers is averaging 41,650. Honestly, we need to top that. We must top that.

Final Note: How the other half lives

We are in the Big Ten. Thank you, Jim Delany. We could still be in the American. Like our old friends at UConn. Where even playing an SEC team just doesn’t draw.

An article in the Hartford Courant, written by a Missouri alum - the school UConn didn’t draw people to watch - was fascinated (saddened? shocked?) at how no one watches UConn football.

The writer, Jeff Jacobs, had actually challenged UConn student newspaper writers to answer why only 19,800 tickets had been distributed (not even actual attendance!).

You fill half the Rent on a nice October night for an SEC opponent and fans fully deserve questions about being "alleged." As a young UConn student newspaper writer said, you also deserve to be asked why?

I put that question out on Twitter.

The answers … Being stuck in the AAC is a problem. … UConn fans are fair weather, even in basketball. … UConn football fans have been beaten down for years, and a couple of wins doesn't change that overnight. … The re-hiring of Edsall isn't exciting enough. … Connecticut is a basketball state. Go back to the Big East. … The flex pricing of $30 for seats at the top of the Rent for this game was too expensive. … With so many other competing factors today, sports attendance is down everywhere. … If the stadium were on campus, more students would go. ... Mizzou is a bad SEC team this year. … There are lots of students tailgating and not going into the stadium. … The unexpected 6:30 p.m. kickoff hurts. … This is a Halloween party Saturday …

Take a look at that paragraph of “reasons” why UConn isn’t drawing for football. Anything look familiar? Like you’ve read it, seen it all before. Like in the comments section below the weekly attendance On the Banks.