Time for the Spartan Stadium Stands to Reflect the Product on the Field


So how refreshing is it to be a Spartan? This was the idea that I brought about in my first article at Spartan Nation. It feels pretty good to be rooting for a team and to be a part of the family that is only growing and getting strong as each season progresses. Michigan State is being regarded by many as a team that could be in contention for a Big Ten title each season as we continue under the Mark Dantonio era, and maybe even bigger things in the future. Why is this that the Spartans are so highly regarded now? Well, the family, that’s why, and the family that is growing and getting stronger seems to have a member missing each year.

The member that I am referring to is the fan in the stands. Many of us, in these economic times, can’t afford to get up to the games as much as we want, or maybe not even at all, even I included. The problem though isn’t people that can’t afford to get to the games and have to choose a ticket or food for their own immediate family, but the members of Spartan Nation that do have tickets and aren’t in the seats.

Fans at Michigan State have been through a lot in the last 10 years and it has been well documented as to why fans have decreased over time; players on drugs, coaches that lose control, and all sorts of other issues that only aid to fans not wanting to give up their hard earned money to come through the gates to just follow the same old Soap Opera that we follow every year. What about now though? What’s the excuse?

We, as fans, have a duty as much as the coaches do to the players and the University. We have one of the best coaches in America that supports everything that is the Green and White, and I can’t tell you how many people I talk to tell me how thrilled they are that we have a coach like we do that is finally producing something that we are proud of. But again I ask you; don’t we have a funny way of showing it?

When we have a nationally televised game and the camera goes around the stadium to see empty seats, what coach would want to stay at a school where the fans that have tickets can’t even get into the seats on time? Students, Alum, Fans, it doesn’t matter, we are all guilty.

We have so many high-end recruits coming in every weekend during the season and we, so badly, want to see them in the Green and White, but when they look around and see what should be a full stadium, do you think that makes them want to come play for a school like that? I get so excited every time I hear a new player commits that is only going to make us stronger, but I worry that I won’t continue to be excited at the players we are getting if we can’t show them that our family holds up its members.

We live in Michigan and obviously just a hop, skip, and a jump away is one of the most rivaled schools for us of any team, Michigan. They just experienced one of the WORST seasons in school history, if not the worst, and they still had a capacity crowd every week. We went to one of the biggest bowl games in years for our school and couldn’t even fill our stadium that holds approximately 30,000 less fans. It’s just not right!

We, at Spartan Nation, have supported the fans through tough and terrible times. We also don’t fault anyone for not attending games when the finances are simply not there. This is about tickets; tickets that are sold and unused, or filled after the kickoff and empty prior to the end of the game. We used to rip past teams for not showing up or quitting. Some of our fans have.

Spartan fans clamored (rightfully so) for a first class football program that was commiserate with the prices that we pay. There is nothing wrong for fans to have those expectations. Mark Dantonio has delivered. Now it is up to the fans. Coach Dantonio hasn’t tried to hold the Spartan Nation hostage. He has traveled all over the state speaking at any organization (football or not) that will invite him. He has repaired relationships damaged all over the state and the nation.

He has brought an infusion of new talent and has produced hope. He didn’t ask for a raise nor flirt with other schools as his notoriety for his work at MSU has drawn him national prominence. Now the fans need to give back.

Mark Dantonio rates every player after every practice and game. Was it a National Championship performance on down to being a failure? We, in the Spartan Nation, demand a National Championship effort and the job that this staff has done has us on that trail. It is time for us to give him what he has given us.

IF you’ve got a ticket, student, alum, or fan, grace the Spartan Nation with your bottoms in the stands, on time, as the ball leaves the tee. We are a family here at Spartan Nation, and families support each other through the rough and tough times, as well as the joyous and exciting. Right now anyone that has a ticket should be cheering from those bleachers because Mark Dantonio and staff deserve that and the players deserve that. They have given us something to cheer about.

IF you have a ticket, be on time. Stay until the end. If it is a green out or a white out, wear the color. Other coaches and even some administrators have ignored the fans. They aren’t anymore. If you have a ticket it is time for the fans to act like the program they want. 

IF you have a ticket, act like a national championship fan and use it. Be on time. Cheer like each play is the deciding factor of whether or not we go to the national title, and most of all act like you expect those in the program to do. Be the fans that Coach D and the visiting teams will call National Championship caliber fans.

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