Triton Teams Need More Fan Support

    On the eve of Spirit Night, the year’s most popular
    celebration of Triton sports, it is essential to take a step back and, instead
    of talking about beloved collegiate athletes, look toward the crucial sixth man
    of our school sports teams: UCSD students.

    Aside from the historically popular games throughout the
    year, like major water polo games or the Triton Jam, the majority of the UCSD
    sporting events go unwatched, save for players’ family members and a select
    group of loyal students, usually fellow Triton athletes. Any athlete can attest
    to the boost that a packed house brings to a game, and few things in life
    compare to the unimaginable feeling that comes from clinching a crucial win and
    having a throng of fans erupt in cheers. Although attendance at sporting events
    is up a small margin from last year, there are still a horrendously large
    number of empty seats at most games. The fact that almost 10,000 students
    showed up at the polls last year to pass the sports referendum but some Triton
    sporting events don’t even get 10 spectators is ironic, to say the least. Why
    is it that students were willing to put time and energy toward approving a fee
    increase but they cannot spare a single moment to attend events that are the
    direct beneficiaries of their money?

    It will take years for the far-reaching goals of the
    referendum to set in, so in the meantime, only a grassroots movement by UCSD
    fans can strengthen sports programs at UCSD. Considering that students are
    paying well over $300 a year toward
    athletics, one would think they would take a more active role in on-campus
    sports.

    More home fans will translate into more wins, which will
    help build up the championship tradition, bringing in more top recruits and
    leading to a very bright future for Triton athletics. UCSD can try and lure the
    best talent to its program, but who would want to go to a school where your
    hard work and skill aren’t respected or even noticed by the student body?

    Lately there has been a growing movement on campus to bring
    a football team back to the school. While it would be great if the university
    were to have a football team again after a 40-year hiatus, it is by no means
    feasible anywhere in the near future. Clinging to false hopes of forming a
    football team gives those students personal justification for not attending
    games of the few dedicated teams that the school actually has. If even the
    smallest fraction of the almost 3,000 students in the “Bring UCSD a Football
    Team!” Facebook group were to attend a Triton game once a week, the attendance
    at home games would skyrocket.

    While money from the referendum does its best Ronald Reagan
    impression, slowly trickling down through Triton athletics programs, UCSD
    students must take it upon themselves to improve school sports from the bottom
    up. And if bolstering UCSD sports and spirit is not enough of an incentive,
    then maybe this is: Each student is paying this fee regardless of how the teams
    perform, so not being active in the Triton sports program means that,
    essentially, you are wasting your money.

    Without the strong fan support, UCSD teams are merely a few
    students running around a field — regardless of how much more money may or may not
    be behind them. If the school is ever going to have a chance at competing on
    the same athletic level as the other top-tier universities that UCSD students
    claim to be on par with academically, then each student must realize their
    dynamic potential and put their (referendum) money where their mouth is.

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