Fill These Stands... Dammit! (CREDIT: IvyLeagueSports.com)
Let's face it, Columbia needs more fans in the stands this coming season no matter what. If the team is as strong as we hope it will be, then the fans need to show their appreciation. And if the team stumbles a bit, a big crowd could get them back on track.
Attendance at all Ivy football games has been down in recent years. We all have our theories about why this is happening, but most of those theories blame the students and they're really not the problem. This is not Ithaca, this is not Hanover. This is New York! And in the New York City area, there are so many Columbia and other Ivy alums that attendance at each Lion game against an Ivy opponent should easily break the 10,000 mark.
That's More Like It! Crowd at the Homecoming Game, 2003, a Wien record of 13,785 (CREDIT: Columbia Athletics)
The onus is on alums, period. Most of us are still in touch with our fellow alums, and we all probably work with a great deal of graduates from other Ivy schools who could be persuaded to come to the games. If you have to sit in the visitors stands with them, so be it. By the way, take a little nature walk behind the visitors stands sometime, you'll be glad you did.
But don't stop there, choose a game or two from the 2007 schedule and start working on some friends and family NOW to come to that game. I've been taking my neighbor and his daughter to games since 2004. They have no connection to Columbia or any other Ivy, but they love the low prices, the food, and the fact that they're watching real students play exciting games.
Sign This Kid Up! (CREDIT: Columbia College Today)
And speaking as a guy who has been bringing his daughter to most games since she was two, it really doesn't get more family friendly than Wien Stadium. Lately, the administration has been setting up carnivals for kids in the pregame picnic area for Homecoming and sometimes for other games as well. And no matter how competitive the games get, you rarely hear foul language in the stands and I've never seen a fistfight at Wien.
My Daughter Jordan Shows 'em How it's Done (CREDIT: Columbia University Marching Band)
Of course, there is the band. Some of their material is pretty off-color, but any kid under 11 or 12 isn't going to get the innuendo anyway. And as you can see above, the band can be kid friendly a lot of the time.
And never fear! My fans guide to going to a Columbia football game at Baker Field is on its way. Everything from the best driving directions, to parking, to proper sunscreen application tips will be covered, so nothing is left to chance.
The bottom line is we want 10k in the stands, every game, no exceptions. And it's up to alums like us to get it done.
Let's get to work!