Remember that poster from World War I that says UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU FOR THE ARMY? Well, Mississippi State NEEDS you- not WANT- NEEDS you Thursday night for the Auburn baseball game.
And I have to hand it to the fans in general- you’ve done a great job so far. We are on pace to draw over 7,000 fans per game, and we almost broke 10,000 for the Saturday LSU game. And in Pearl, Mississippi State fans helped set an attendance record for the Governor’s Cup, Trustmark Park, and we outdrew the Atlanta Braves exhibition game that was played there and set the record a week and a half before the game.
I also need to pat Scott Stricklin and the MSU baseball staff on the back. They do some fan friendly things during the game such as the Kiss Cam, the dizzy bat race, they had the pom squad cheer on top of the dugout- that was my personal favorite. “The Dudes” as a student organization has been successful and it has helped involve the student body which is so important because those are the fans that are going to continue MSU’s baseball tradition. Thursday, they are going all out- it’s going to be a white out, and fans are going to get a free t-shirt and after the game there is going to be a fireworks show- and no, it’s not going to be Hunter Renfroe taking batting practice. Like Fourth of July fireworks.
John Cohen had what may have sounded like an unusual request if you are not a MSU fan. He asked for the fans in the GRANDSTAND to show up. To completely rip off a line from the movie MAJOR LEAGUE- in case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the lack of attendance in the grandstand you haven’t- MSU is playing pretty well. We just won a series over Florida, won the Governor’s Cup, and then swept Texas A&M on the road. MSU is one of the few teams in college baseball that has 30 wins and now people are starting to throw around words like “hosting a regional” and “national seed”. The baseball team DESERVES for you folks in the grandstand to pack it out at least every once in awhile. For Heaven’s sakes- we might set an attendance record for the year with about 30% of the grandstand full for every game. Think about it!
Now, I’m sure you grandstand people are thinking bad thoughts about me and are looking for all kinds of grammer mistakes and things like that right now. And you’re probably having some thoughts like:
1. But I buy season tickets and I only want to go to regionals- that’s my right as a fan.
2. But by buying season tickets, I’m helping MSU even if I don’t go to the games. They’re getting my money.
3. But Grandaddy can’t go. He can’t walk.
So, now let’s address these- and I’m sure there are some other reasons for not going that maybe aren’t mentioned but it’s too late to go on a case by case basis here at this point. That said, I will say this- if you ARE in the 30% that go, I am NOT talking to you. You are doing what you are supposed to do, and it is appreciated and I encourage you to keep it up. You are True Maroon.
But I buy season tickets and I only want to go to regionals- that’s my right as a fan. Yes, it is “your right”- but to be blunt, it makes you a bad fan. I think this is where the “lifetime contract” issue comes in, which is without a doubt quite possibly the worst idea Larry Templeton came up with- which is saying something. Season ticket holders get priority if MSU hosts a regional, and that’s when the grandstand fills up. Could you imagine what a Major League teams attendance would be if they held seats for people that only wanted to watch the team if they went to the World Series? So, basically what these MSU fans are doing is almost like gambling. If the Dogs go to a regional, it’s like hitting 21 at the blackjack table. If MSU doesn’t, they are basically throwing away money. Would anyone buy season tickets to the opera and not go? Or MSU football and not go? There has to be a solution- I think there is a way to allow people to retain regional ticket priority and at the same time allow people to give up their season tickets. I bet a lot of the people that don’t show up would be OK with that. Or maybe it’s something as simple as honor code seating in the grandstand. Honor code seating means I as Joe Fan buy a general admission ticket to a single baseball game at MSU and I go find a seat that is unoccupied in the grand stand. If Joe Season ticket holder comes up to me and politely tells me that I am sitting in his seat, I as Joe Fan politely move to another seat. It’s empty enough that I don’t think there would be any problem- heck, the fans do the great grandstand migration before the fifth inning anyway- why not just go there to start with? Mississippi State is already doing this for midweek games and as far as I know- it’s working out fine. Maybe it’s a precursor to SEC weekend games?
But by buying season tickets, I’m helping MSU even if I don’t go to the games. They’re getting my money. But you may be hurting MSU MORE by NOT showing up. By leaving an empty seat, you are preventing someone who WANTS to support MSU an opportunity to do so. Someone that- you know- would actually be there. It’s not like there aren’t OTHER ways to give money to MSU baseball. Like, I don’t know- join the Dugout Club. Maybe make a donation to the Bulldog Club and earmark that money for baseball. Give Scott Stricklin a check in person and tell him to give it to the baseball team. Or maybe actually show up to the games. Has it ever occurred to these people that by not showing up, it gives the perception that our fans don’t show up and that might hurt recruiting which hurts our chances of getting better players who could actually help us get to a regional?
But Grandaddy can’t go. He can’t walk. I mention this only because I heard this on a message board. I hate to be cold. But the truth is, if this is the case, Grandaddy probably isn’t going to be able to walk well enough next year to go. (I know, I’m a turd but someone’s got to say it) So, with that in mind- the Grandaddy not being able to walk part- not the me being a turd- you have two options. 1. Give it to someone that WILL be able to go- like another family member, or a good friend that’s a MSU fan, someone from church, do I really need to go on? 2. Stop buying Grandaddy’s season ticket and let someone else buy it.
Folks- in closing, I’m telling you to go to the MSU baseball game on Thursday. I KNOW we can get over 8,000 fans on Thursday, and I know it is as a sacrifice because of work and everything else. Ole Miss had a great crowd last weekend and ESPN was impressed, but we ALL know who the REAL baseball school is in Mississippi- so let’s show ESPN what it’s ALL about at Dudy-Noble Field. And grandstand folks- it’s not going to kill you to go to ONE game and the regionals.