This Morning in Sports: The Importance of Atmosphere

Photo by Greg Levinsky

By: Max Wolpoff

Throngs of people packed Boylston Street up to the Commons to greet the returning World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox. Never mind that there was no city hall rally, the duck boats are back for the 11th Boston (or New England for the Patriots) champion crowned in a major sport in this millenium.

Over 3,000 miles away from the actual game on the field, Red Sox fans poured out of over-crowded bars and expensive apartments to celebrate Sunday night. This is a recurring scene for professional sports teams in the city, but remains sweet each and every time it happens.

Chants of “M-V-P” filled the streets for passing duck boats. Even the front office and medical staff got cheers when they rode by.

The parade Wednesday may have cancelled some classes around campus, but it should not overshadow playoff fever for the coming weekend. Something like this weekend on a campus with more spirit would be must-see action.

The Boston University Field Hockey AND the Women’s Soccer teams are hosting conference playoffs, and the timing works out so well that the games are within walking distance of each other and watchable with enough time to find lunch or a bathroom in between.

Field Hockey is shooting for its fourth Patriot League championship in its six years in the conference. Women’s Soccer is chasing its fourth NCAA tournament appearance in the last seven years, and fourteenth overall trip to the dance. These are dynasty teams with star power at every position. It is very likely that both teams will win titles on home turf this weekend to continue a reign at the top of the Patriot League.

And, if history is any indicator, empty seats will watch history unfold.

Sadly, aside from maybe the Men’s Hockey team, sports at Boston University garner little student support. The massive crowd from Terrier Tailgate, 2,500, that watched a 3-0 win for the ladies was the best it got. In every other game, where they brought a total of 1,967 into Nickerson Field, Women’s soccer averaged 281 people thorugh the gates. The biggest crowd was 420 for the Faculty/Staff Appreciation and Deaf Studies Day against Army, a 1-1 draw.

Field Hockey’s average attendance is even worse, a paltry 206 across their seven home games. 264 people turned out to watch Harvard shutout the Terriers for the biggest crowd of the season. For a team that has not missed the conference tournament since 2002 in the America East days, students should recognize their greatness with ease.

The Women’s sports teams have won more conference titles than the Men in the last ten years, and yet the only times the stands are full is to watch Men’s hockey lose yet another game this season.

What is so frustrating about this is that these tickets are free for most students. You have already paid for them. It is literally part of the tuition (the Sports Pass) that you already pay to this university.

I understand the student who cries “I have too much work, not tonight.” This university does not make it easy on students to enjoy everything it has to offer by assingning everyone in a writing class the equivalent of a full-length novel to read every week.

This weekend marks a rare chance to see two champions crowned on campus, and see both in-person.

The Patriots do not play until the night game, and the Celtics and Bruins are both off. Midterm Month is over (at least, it should be for most of you). Take Sunday afternoon and enjoy watching your fellow students, who go to class like the rest of us and push for excellence like the rest of us, play for championships.

Author: Max Wolpoff

Max is in his final undergraduate year, and prefers not to be remembered for his now-infamous viral goal call ( Between classes, applying for law school, and working for the Worcester Blades, he co-hosts “Scarlet and White” and writes the “This Morning in Sports” column. Max is from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. Follow Max on Twitter @Max_Wolpoff and on Instagram @maxwolpoff for the latest #MaxWolpoffSuitOfTheGame.

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