I've probably attended at least 100 games in the stadium since about 1985 and was present today. If you are keeping track at home and want my demographic, I'm a 40 yr old alum from SB who is in the camp of no jumbotrons. So call me a traditionalist. Here are brief thoughts:
I sat in the southwest corner today (upper bowl). I was surrounded by a couple a little older than me who couldn't understand why Golson was taking so long to snap the ball. I commented to them that this was only his second game and he was depending on the coaching staff to call the plays once the defense was set. They then commented how if Rees wasn't suspended for the game, why did they wait until then to bring him in. I'm thrilled for Tommy to have had success but we know that isn't the answer.
I was also nearby a couple of twenty something dorks with their ND gear on who seemed more intent on talking than watching the game.
I saw a man about my age holding what appeared to be a maybe 6 month old child at best.
There were a few somewhat more engaged fans around me. I used to scream and yell at most games and was often told to sit down. In fact, I tend to argue more with our fans than opposing fans. Today I found myself just watching for the most part. I would clap and cheer mildly during important sequences; however, I wouldn't say I ever really said anything more than "Let's go D" 2 or 3 times. The music does little for me. On occassion, a well timed song might work to a small extent because it does get people off their feet.
So here's what I saw today. At kickoff, the music seemed to get people standing and clapping that probably wouldn't otherwise. It didn't impact me at all because I would be up for the kickoff anyway. It did seem to help the overall crowd in general. As the game wore on, the music became more annoying in my opinion. I also thought most of the crowd in general was not responding to it as the game continued compared to the outset.
My conclusion: Those of us who live and die with ND football are becoming apathetic and have just wanted good play. We have never needed gimmicks. We just needed victories. As the losses have piled up in the last 15 years or so at home, the group I put myself in is losing interest and just sits in the stands analyzing why we are so bad and have a difficult times getting excited because we are only going to be let down. The older crowd is what it is. They won't ever cheer much one way or the other. The younger crowd and the football indifferent crowd needs immediate gratification in that they like the music initially because it is cool and exciting but eventually they find other things such as their phones to create additional distractions because the game is long and boring without sustained success. This would be the 'tron crowd.
At the end of the day, I could be wrong but the music won't matter. The game was won on a last second field goal and in my opinion there was very little crowd noise for the most part. We all know what has to happen. You have to win some damn games and play some football that gets people excited. I no longer have the energy and more importantly don't have the belief and trust that we can get things done. I truly hope I am wrong because I've invested too much in this to walk away. I really don't know who the university can effectively target for future crowds.
We have been conditioned to accept mediocrity over so many years that I guess we should be happy that we won. And that my friends is the beginning of the end.
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