You hear it all the time by college sports fans on message boards and on social media, “I’m the biggest [Insert School Name Here] fan that you could ever know.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard or read that phrase from people, I’d be a very rich man. Anyway, that lie is always followed up from me by one question, “Do you support your women’s sports, or do you only support the ‘Big three’ sports offered by your school?” After they get done with their look of confusion, I almost always get the reply of “Well…I mean…not really.”
That’s what I’ve come here to talk about with you. You cannot tell anyone that you’re the “biggest fan” of your school if you don’t support most of the sports offered by your school. Now, sometimes you run into the people who actually qualify to be holding the “biggest fan” moniker, and that’s the moment you shake their hand and simply say thank you.
After watching our Bulldogs generally struggle in the “Big Three” sports, save football and their great season, it was interesting to watch as the teams who were actually producing on the court/field not have the fan support they deserved. The main ones I’m talking about are our Women’s Basketball and Softball squads, who saw themselves go further in postseason play than their male counterparts. Which, let’s be honest here, wasn’t that hard to achieve anyway considering neither of the male sides made the postseason.
Vic Schaefer and his Bulldog squad won more games than any other Mississippi State women’s basketball team in history. The talent was tremendous, and the team showed tremendous heart and grit every single game. Every game you watched of this women’s basketball squad, you just couldn’t help but me amazed by the talent on the floor and how they played together so well. Yet, many didn’t get to see this product on the floor because they simply did not want to go and watch? Which, simply put, was a crying shame.
Vic Schaefer and the team make it a point of emphasis to visit with anyone and everyone after the game. They’ll take pictures with you, talk with you, and just be a “team of the people” so to speak. It doesn’t matter if it’s after a win or a loss, the Bulldog squad will immediately be available, and will most likely have a big ol’ smile on your face. Not to mention, they’ll remember your name and be sure to thank you personally for coming out to their game.
Now let’s move to our softball squad, shall we? In what has been billed as a “rebuilding” year since the start of the season, Vann Stuedeman and staff drove this squad to their fourth straight NCAA Regional trip. Sure, some of the games weren’t as exciting as you would have liked, but a win against #1 LSU at the time at home was exactly what the doctor ordered for a high point of the season.
So to wrap this whole little spill up, don’t call yourself the “biggest fan” of a school if you don’t support all of the sports. Number one, people will expose you and scoff at you from then on. But secondly, and possibly more importantly, you’re taking away the credibility of those who actually do the work and go to games to support the teams and players who put their emotions on their sleeves and never forget to thank the fans who watch them game-in, and game-out.