I’m glad someone woke up John Feinstein. He must have finally finished his latest tell-all book about the William and Mary soccer team. Let me guess: it’s a place where sports still mean something.
Just a couple weeks after making some waves by claiming rightly that ACC football is irrelevant on the national stage, yesterday Feinstein noted the growing swarms of Boo Birds at Maryland and Redskin games. More fans seem to be eating their “Boo Berries,” if you get my drift. They’ve got a case of the “Boos.” Their teams “make them sick” to the point where they want to “lash out like Huns after a break-in at the meadery.” If you take my meaning. Because mead is an intoxicant.
Sometimes I hear a little too much talk radio in Feinstein’s columns, but he’s right. Terp fans are angry over what could be a dreadful season. And I’m not talking about the overreactionist “OMG SOMEONE NEEDS TO THROW ACID IN DEBIE YOWS FACE” contingent. A lot of the rank-and-file fans seem to be getting fed up, too, and they’re fighting back with their mouths and, more ominously, their wallets. Another Post story today notes that attendance is down at Byrd by nearly every measure: last Saturday’s MTSU game had the smallest crowd since 2002. Season ticket sales are declining. And that’s even before we bring up the luxury boxes. These people, they just don’t know true poshness when they see it. That’s REAL particle board, people! That stuff doesn’t grow on trees.
Does the economy play a factor? Surely. But would the attendance dip be as bad if the team wasn’t also dipping like a bag of Scoops at an AA meeting? (zing.) No. Look at Michigan, one of the hardest-hit states economically. The Big House is packed every time. Byrd could be, too. The team doesn’t have to win the ACC every year — just be competitive. Don’t embarrass your fans. Is that too much to ask? For instance, what about that Murfreesboro vacation I was planning? You think I can still show my face there? And I heard they just got a Mattress Discounters.
Bottom line: we wouldn’t be having any of these conversations if the team was winning. In many ways, sports is an easy business.
(Non-topical final note: If you think the Lions don’t have Sunday’s game circled on their calendar, you haven’t been watching the Skins. Booo, Snyder!)