Standing At Games - A Different View
RamFanatic note: The article on "Unsolvable Problems" prompted one viewer to share some thoughts that I think viewers will find interesting. The poster does not claim to have the solution to the problem, but his ideas are thought provoking. Thanks JDHeel.
I've thought long and hard about fans standing at the games. Of course, this is mentioned over and over on The Tar Pit, and that gets me thinking about it more.
I am the type of fan that really likes to be standing for all the action. I think it's more fun that way and I honestly think more fans get into the game when they are on their feet. There necessarily doesn't have to be a causal relationship between standing and cheering, and I realize this. But, I know from my own experience that when I am sitting, I tend to be less into the game vocally. I'm also the same way when the rest of the crowd is quiet--I often feel foolish cheering on my own when nobody else is doing it.
I realize the issue at hand with the standing and sitting fans around Kenan, so I personally solve this by choosing to sit in the student section. My tickets are on the other side of the stadium, but I know that for almost every game ( except those sold out games that require assigned student seating ), I can be there and stand the entire game. I also like the atmosphere in the student section better.
But, I can't help but to think about what might be if the rest of the stadium were standing for the entire game. Our crowd is constantly chided for being "wine and cheese"....and it constantly disappoints me by being quiet when our team needs it most. For example, apparently people think that third downs are the only time you make noise on defense. I realize that's the most critical down for stopping the other team, but the other two are just as much an opportunity for the fans to get loud. I can't prove that standing would have the fans more into the game and that the rest of you tends to be as well (and that includes your vocal chords).
Also, though, I wonder how feasible it is to get people standing. I realize there are those that are physically unable to stand, and I agree with RamFanatic's assessment that it seems unfair to them to have their view of the game blocked by someone. They paid to be in that seat, and they deserve to get what they were promised.
I kick around ideas about ways to fix that, but I don't think any of them are practical. In my dream world, seating in Kenan would be general admission. This would solve a lot of problems:
1- Late arrivals. Fans that show up early get the best seats, so people will be less likely to stroll in around the end of the first quarter.
2- People are not tied to a seat and can therefore move if someone is ruining their experience by standing or doing something else annoying.
3- People can sit with their friends in large groups.
4- A section (or more than one) could be created for those with physical disabilities and cannot stand for the game, or those that would just rather sit for the game. Call this the "No Standing" section for lack of a better title.
I realize that would cause a lot of problems too, probably more than it would solve. Alums who pay big money expect to have the best seats and would not appreciate being uprooted from their seats. Also, general admission seating could be chaotic -- people getting into fights or insisting on acting like jerks because they think it's their right. But that happens anyway. The biggest hitch in that plan is that it would never happen anyway. But, if the school ever decided to sell tickets general admission and tell people beforehand "This will be standing encouraged seating except for the 'no standing' sections." ....this wouldn't give those who decided to show up much of an argument over how it would be.
Like I said though, that's my dream world. We know it'll never happen, so our best bet is changing the culture at Kenan a little at a time. I am hoping that games will just take on that personality on their own. We need more fan excitement in general, and if that somehow happens... it'll be like a snowball effect. The more exciting the games become, the more people will want to stand. It would just keep building onto itself....
Maybe that's a dream world too, but that's what I hope for.