Inspirational fans raise athletes’ spirit for wins

Parker Willis - International Editor

Parker Willis – International Editor

Parker Willis

Instead of a column where I tell my readers what I think, I have come up with more of a question for our student body. Does school spirit directly affect athletic performances?

Due to the recent attempt of helping attendance at Southern basketball games, I hear dinner was served at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Instead of resulting in an increase in attendance, I hear it resulted in the majority of students heading to Taco Bell for their grub.

This is not an excuse for the faculty’s idiotic ploy. In fact I think the attempt was rather lame. But my question is: Is our basketball team so bad that we can’t watch one game?

I know they haven’t had a winning record in a couple of seasons. And anyone can easily blame the athletes or the coach. But does anyone blame ourselves?

After recently traveling to St. Louis to watch Webb City High School’s football team play for the state championship, I realized something. Every gas station and restaurant from here to the Edward Jones Dome was infested with Cardinal fans. Now I know they were undefeated and they have been to the state championship game more than once.

But is that why Cardinals fans loaded up and traveled across the state of Missouri, or does the football team owe a little bit of its success to its fans?

The fans deserve a little credit. Every time those players stepped on the field during their high school career, they could turn around and see a sea of cardinal red and baby blue behind them supporting them all the way.

Granted, those athletes put in a lot of effort on their own, as far as practice and weight training, etc. But something inside of them had to tell them to work that hard. Now some will work hard on their own. But others need a little push, and knowing that everyone you go to school with and several hundred parents will be at every game you play has to provide somewhat of a push.

I can’t say I’ve gone to every home game the Lions have played. But I have gone to some. And I know several students who can’t say the same. In fact many of them live right on campus and still don’t walk over to support their team.

We go to class with these athletes. And most of us don’t have the slightest clue that the person sitting next to us may just be drafted into the NFL.

How long will we complain about our athletic department before we realize our lack of involvement is one of the reasons our athletes don’t feel that ‘Lion Pride’ that we should all carry with us for as long as we our students here?