August 14, 2018 | ° F

Students must be more supportive of Rutgers football team

Letter to the Editor

To the Rutgers student body: Do you want to have a football team capable of being ranked in the top 10? How about a BCS title? Dare I even think it — a national title? If so, you need to realize you are a major factor in getting there. You don’t need to be on the field, but you do need to be in the stands. You need to stay in the stands until the clock hits 00:00 in the fourth quarter. You need to be energized and loud! All the big-time programs learned long ago that an energized and excited student body is critical not only to the flow of the game (making it difficult for opposing quarterbacks to call audibles, breaking their rhythm, etc.) but also to potential recruits. No star player wants to play in a dead atmosphere.

I was at the Rutgers-Arkansas game on Sept. 21, and I was embarrassed by the student section’s mass exodus in the third quarter. Were you afraid the beer in your dorms would get warm? When Rutgers turned things around the noise level was tremendous, but imagine how much louder it could have been if all the students remained! In the fourth quarter, head coach Kyle Flood was directing his attention toward the student section in an effort to get more out of those who remained. Yes, he was coaching you, the “12th man,” just as enthusiastically as he would any other member of his team.  

Be glad that you do not have to pay for your tickets. Many schools with great programs make students pay for their tickets. Some even limit the number of games students can attend (via student ticket purchases) so that all students can have the opportunity to attend. There is nothing that can equal the emotion and excitement of a college football game. Your connection to Rutgers football is deeper than any connection you could ever have to a professional team.

Become part of the program and your support will propel Rutgers football to the next level just as certainly as any star player’s efforts.  Feed the team with your energy, frustrate the opponents with your volume and impress the recruits with your support!

Bill Paliwoda is a 1983 Rutgers College alumnus.

By Bill Paliwoda

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