Talk is cheap.
It’s actually the norm for a lot of Middle Tennessee fans, though. For years, they have asked for specific numbers and revenue reports in addition to a little transparency from the athletic department.
Well, now you got it. The program, like it or not, struggles just like countless others in this business. Some of the numbers were ugly, but some of the plans for the future instilled a lot of hope, too.
The question becomes - now that you've gotten your wish, what are you going to do about changing things?
It’s time to open up the checkbook.
The Blue Raider athletic department staff, coaches, and, most importantly, student-athletes, pour their heart, soul, and sweat into Middle Tennessee day in and day out. What have they gotten for their efforts and trouble?
The answers are empty seats, no sustained growth on the season ticket sales front and no sustained growth in the BRAA.
Way to show the love.
Are the results always what you want them to be? Of course not. Have programs within the athletic department fallen short of expectations at times? Of course they have.
But that's what you get for falling in love with (say it with me) a mid-major program.
It’s been twenty years since Floyd Stadium opened and Blue Raider fans have yet to fill the stadium and the men’s and women’s basketball teams have yet to play before 8,000 fans on a regular basis.
Look, I get it. It’s not easy navigating through traffic in Murfreesboro and construction on Middle Tennessee Boulevard doesn’t help, but it hasn’t prevented alumni from showing up to Predators game in record numbers. In simple terms, alumni support of Middle Tennessee leaves much to be desired. Did the Preds just cap off a magical run in the NHL postseason? They sure did. Got a lot of “new” fans in the process. You know the “first time caller, long time listener” types of fans.
For MT, the problem starts during students’ time on campus. Far too many students are apathetic about the school’s athletic program. It’s time for more Middle Tennessee students to join the Blue Zoo and create a rowdy, home field advantage. That's a pure grassroots movement, but the university could certainly help by embedding that ideology into their heads from the moment they arrive at customs.
And, if I can be blunt, it’s not like the city of Murfreesboro performs much better than the students.
The city boasts an estimated population of 130,000 and hundreds of business rely on the Middle Tennessee faculty, staff, and students to keep their lights on. Yet, when it comes time to support their hometown school, they are strangely silent, and absent.
Where's the pride in that?
The school needs more. It needs your support. It’s way past time for the community - citizens and businesses alike - to support the their hometown university. It's going to take a collective effort.
Is this too much to ask?