With their beloved football team set to venture south for the Beef ‘O Brady’s bowl against Central Florida next week in St. Petersburg, Fla., Ball State students had the opportunity to purchase tickets for $20 as of Friday.
It’s a bargain for any college student seeking to spend a couple of days in one of the warmer climates of the country this time of year. And the atmosphere should be electric.
But the cries for free tickets have filled the air, and it’s making me sick to my stomach, honestly.
When news spread of Northern Illinois dishing out free tickets to students who are able to make the trip to Miami for the Discover Orange Bowl against ACC Champion Florida State on New Year’s Day, I could just imagine the immature, childish temper tantrums and grumbles coming from the Ball State fans.
Honestly, Ball State fans should be thankful they have a chance to purchase discounted tickets to the bowl game. I’m certain people will think there’s good reason to question Northern Illinois handing out free tickets to its bowl game, and how Ball State should do the same.
But Northern Illinois is playing in a BCS game. Ball State isn’t. And for good reason.
Unless you’ve been completely delusional this season, then you have no right to make such a drastic and downright foolish complaint about getting free tickets to a bowl game. First of all, students had their chance to get discounted tickets. Tickets don’t come much cheaper than $20, folks.
Here’s the generous deal Ball State athletics presented to its student body: https://apps.bsu.edu/CommunicationsCenter/Story.aspx?MessageGuid=a220977d-d2cb-4205-9fbd-ef0e44e1386f
Take a look at the final note in italics: “Please Note: In the event that the minimum number of participants (36) has not been met by Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10 a.m., Ball State Athletics reserves the right to cancel the tour. Guests who reserved the bus trip will receive a full refund and will be notified via email.”
What a shame that would be for Ball State Athletics to cancel a bus tour they planned themselves because they failed to lure 36 students hope on board.
If you’re a Ball State football fan, then ask yourself this. Did I really give my best efforts to support my team this season? Did I rally behind my team when they lost to Clemson Sept. 8, Kent State, Sept. 29, or Northern Illinois Oct. 6? Did I make it a priority to show up at Scheumann Stadium for every one of Ball State’s five home games this season?
If you answer “yes” to these questions, then you are one of a small pool of true and loyal Ball State fans. I can imagine Ball State fans scowling at me for writing this post. But, hey, it’s the honest truth.
In 2012, Ball State had a combined 64,649 fans come through Scheumann Stadium, an average of 12,929 fans per game. That ranks 10th in the Mid-American Conference — ahead of first-year member UMASS (10,901/game), Akron (9,275/game) and Eastern Michigan (4,634/game).
That’s ridiculous, and embarrassing. So let me get this straight. Ball State fans don’t show up for home games, but want free tickets to the bowl game? Good heavens.
According an article by BleacherReport, Scheumann Stadium is the second-most least-feared college football stadium in the country. Hmm … I wonder why. Attendance wouldn’t have anything to do with it, right?
It’s sad, really. Ball State coach Pete Lembo turned in the best season (9-3) since the magical undefeated 2008 campaign and gets virtually zero support from the fan base. Yes, I realize Ball State is in the MAC and is considered a Mid-Major program. But that doesn’t mean fans shouldn’t show up, especially when their team is winning.
It’s a shame that Ball State has a chance to make history by winning its first-ever bowl game, and it appears the fans don’t want any part of it.
Oh well. Party on, Ball State.