I have written about this in the past, and it has unfortunately not gotten much better since. I am talking about, of course, students leaving Maryland Football games early.
I want to start by saying, this is not an article intended to be harmful in any way to students at Maryland. I understand that some people do not like sports or are just unable to attend games for any particular reason. This article is to point out that for the people who do attend games, there needs to be a change in the culture of leaving early.
As a member of the football team’s staff, I work closely with the players that take the field every Saturday to play to the best of their ability and represent Maryland well. The hours that the players and coaching staff put in to prepare for a single game is just astounding, and it all hopefully leads to a victory.
But preparation is one factor, but home field advantage is another. Nobody likes when a crowd brings so much ruckus and noise that they can’t even hear a play call. Most Maryland students make this noise happen, for about a half, then they go home and the stadium gets quieter as the game goes on.
I want students to realize that their influence on a game is bigger than they think. Do you think that our team will play better with half the student section remaining in the crowd during the second half, or the same amount that was there at the start of the game? The players love when their own fellow students are in the stands rooting for them and it honestly encourages them to play harder and better for their team and their classmates.
It is a huge factor when I travel to opposing stadiums and see their students getting excited and screaming from the stands. It seems that every mistake our team makes on the road is almost magnified because the students in the crowd react in such a big way towards a Maryland turnover or their team scoring.
For example, a few weeks ago we lost to Penn State by a significant margin, but their students, despite having this big lead and victory ensured, they stayed until the end of the game, and their student section is three times as big as ours. They let us feel how huge of a part they played in bringing the ruckus and we felt it the entire game.
I want an environment like that in College Park. Make other opposing teams scared of coming here to play us and know that they will have deal with a highly talented team, but even more so, a crowd that will be on their mind the entire game.
So I ask all you students who maybe get too drunk at the tailgate before hand, or decide to go home because the game is boring to you, you just get too cold in the crowd, or you go home because we are getting crushed or winning by a big margin, please stay the entirety of the game.
Let’s make Maryland Stadium a feared place to play in the Big Ten, and if not for that reason alone, at least stay until the end of the game so the players have people to sing the victory song with and not just a handful of students who actually decide to stay until the end of the game.
Let’s show this support on Nov. 12 vs. Ohio State.