What do UNC basketball, Alabama football and Clemson football all have in common? They are all top-notch programs that consistently receive national attention.
These programs also have some of the most dedicated fan bases in the U.S. Fan bases so dedicated that they travel all over the country to make every game feel like a home game.
Winning definitely makes it easier to root for a team, but I’d bet if these teams didn’t win a game all season, they still would have high attendance at their games.
Many underestimate the impact that fans have on a team’s overall performance. During games, a loud and boisterous crowd can disrupt the other team’s offense, lead to lapses in defense and become the deciding factor in tight games. Also, the size and energy of a home crowd might be a crucial factor in a recruit’s decision to commit to Wake Forest.
An absent and quiet crowd has the opposite effect. Most athletes love to play in front of a large crowd but can feel demoralized when that large crowd disappears after halftime. As a few players have remarked, it’s hard to get pumped for a game where no one shows up, and the away fans make it feel like an away game.
The Wake Forest student section isn’t quite at the same level as it was in 2006 when Wake Forest made its Orange Bowl run. The student section is on the rise though. It’s been fuller with more students staying longer than in my previous three years, however; it is still rarely up to par with a Power 5 school, especially one that is going bowling.
Wake Forest suffers from a dramatic loss of students after halftime, and when students are there, they are normally quiet and seated. This is where Saturday’s game can represent a call to action for the student body.
Clemson will be heavy favorites and if Wake Forest is going to pull off an immaculate upset, they will need any advantage we can get.
Football games should serve as an event that brings the entire campus together for three hours. We all should be able to forget about our differences and cheer on our classmates that have put in countless hours of work to compete for Wake Forest. At times it’s forgotten that the players on the field are students at the end of the day. They do all the classwork on top of everything that is required to be a Division 1 athlete. All the work they do alone deserves enough respect to come and stay until the end of the game.
Going and staying until the end of the game isn’t all that students need to do to have an effective student section; they also need to be loud.
A football game is one of the few places where it is encouraged to be as loud as possible.
Being loud pumps up the Deacs and messes up anything Clemson tries to do. Plus cheering and engaging in games make them a lot more enjoyable for everyone, while having an impact on the game.
This Saturday, prove that “X sorority, fraternity, club or classmate loves the Deacs” by cheering and staying to the end of the game.
Personally, singing the Alma Mater with the team after every game is a favorite tradition of mine because it forms a special connection between the players and fans. It would be great to beat the Tigers on Saturday, but it would be even better if all students could experience that feeling.