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University football and the “compelling reason” problem.

Student attendance at university football games is plummeting all over. Here’s a local columnist on the University of Michigan.

Hundreds of cable channels and dedicated networks ensure that practically every game is available in HDTV quality. Social media has transformed the game-day experience from a passive activity to one where fans can interact with hundreds or thousands of others in near real time.

Students are the proverbial canary in the coal mine.

Administrators who believe that winning will solve the student attendance problem are ignoring the cultural shift that’s taking place among the next generation of football fans.

Michigan and other traditional football powers need to offer fans a compelling reason to attend games, or the next renovation at the Big House might be a downsizing.

The cultural problem is that everything about the university football game experience is designed to be attractive to old men. The stadium experience is way retro. You fire up the Oldsmobile and sit in traffic; during the long walk from the parking lot you chew the fat with your golf buddies about the team’s glory days and about what the old guys who run the NCAA are doing wrong; you spend the game disapproving of the behavior of the whippersnappers in the student section and ogling the breasts on the cheerleaders…

As an old guy, you’re good at sitting still for long periods of time, unlike the restless whippersnappers who dance around and then leave the stadium the minute it looks as though the team will lose the game…

Given that students are abandoning university football to the point where soon the only students in attendance will be players or cheerleaders, and the only people in the stands will be horny old guys, UD proposes that universities accept this situation and make it a win/win in the following way:

Create a much larger cheerleading component, made up of the usual busty cohort plus the guys who used to play on the team. Choreograph these students to perform routines that will, uh, be attractive to your fan base.

The new football team, drawn from your university’s women students, will be modeled on what NBC Sports calls “the fastest-growing pro sports league in the nation.”

Margaret Soltan, June 22, 2014 4:01AM
Posted in: sport

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3 Responses to “University football and the “compelling reason” problem.”

  1. superdestroyer Says:

    I suspect that some of the change is due to the changing demographics of the student body. Does anyone really believe that the hard working Asian students with the Tiger Moms care about the football team or attending games. There are only so many students who are willing to “Pay for the Party” and those numbers are going down.

  2. JND Says:

    “ogling the breasts on the cheerleaders”

    Back in the day, cheerleaders weren’t expected to do waste time doing all this acrobatic crap. Instead, they were the most popular girls (women, at the college level). Ogling was a lot more fun then. Competitive cheerleading has harmed the ogling game. I vote for going back to fundamentals.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    JND: LOL.

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