a skilled craftsman who makes and repairs things in iron by calculated strikes with a hammer
The Kennesaw State student section has been empty at basketball games the past several years, and I don’t blame them. The Owls basketball team has not had many wins over the past four years and that will effect the amount of time and dedication students will spend cheering on the team. However, this is a new season. Not just for basketball, but for Kennesaw State as a whole. Football is coming in less than 11 months. The students will be a large contingent at Fifth-Third Bank Stadium come game day and it will be special. But the question will be will the fan base fizzle. That is why you need Blacksmiths. You need those who put in the work to establish an atmosphere created by the students that will endure wins and losses, victories and adversities. There are a number of college football teams that struggle with attendance, but does it affect their home-field advantage? Should wins and losses dictate when you show up and cheer? Below is the attendance numbers for NCAA Division-I FCS programs for 2013.
The top school in football attendance was football teams in the Football Championship Series was Appalachian State who posted a 2-4 home record last year. Appalachian State’s cumulative attendance and per game average attendance for the regular season dominated FCS. Attendance routinely exceeded 130% of seated stadium capacity, according to Stadiumjourney.com (You can read all bout the Appalachian State’s Kidd Brewer Stadium here: http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/kidd-brewer-stadium-s1848). The Mountaineers made the jump from FCS into the FBS and the Sun Belt Conference where they are sure to continue to have a raucous fan base. The fans are the reason it has become such an iconic college football experience for the Mountaineer fan base and the student body is a main reason.
On the flip side there is the Duquense Dukes who had the lowest attendance of any FCS school last year. The first question to ponder is why would the attendance be low. Stadium size is a huge factor. Duquense’s Arthur J. Rooney Stadium seats just 4,500 fans. The average attendance in 2013 was 2, 133. The stadium went more than half empty as the Dukes went 5-0 at home. The enrollment for Duquense is nearly 10,ooo students, so there are several students missing out. I give a tip of my hat to those who do show up.
Fifth-Third Bank seats 8,300 and will surely be filled for Kennesaw State Owl football, in the beginning. But as a start-up program, there are going to be peaks and valleys. What kind of student section will Kennesaw State have? If the basketball season is any indication it doesn’t bode well. Again, the call is put out for Blacksmiths. It has to begin now. Who will be the leaders creating an exciting and profound atmosphere at Kennesaw State? Who will define what it is like for an opposing team to come into a Kennesaw State sporting event? It will be those students who are willing to work at forging something great out of the raw material given to them. It will take those students who rally for the team when they are down. It will be the fans who say, “we’ll get them next time,” after a loss. It will take passion, spirit and creativity. It will take more
than one hard core student like the original Blacksmith, Kyle Odom. Kyle is the president of the Black & Gold club, a student-run organization that raises money to offset cost for student athletes scholarships, capital improvements and operating budget. He travels to as many away games as he can afford and is there in his “Tradition Begins Here” t-shirt cheering, win or lose. Even if he is the only one. Kyle Odom is a Blacksmith. But what Kennesaw State needs can not be done by one passionate fan. It takes a significant group of fans to make attending a Kennesaw State sporting event a tradition that everyone buys into. This transition cannot happen overnight, but it can happen with the help of a few Blacksmiths for Kennesaw State. Are You A Blacksmith?
To find out more about how to join the Black & Gold, visit: https://www.facebook.com/KSUBlackandGold