By Dominic Chamberlain
Let me make something clear off the start; I am a Canisius sports fan. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be writing this right now. And while I don’t go to every game, I go to enough to know that something isn’t right.
The problem lies in the attendance of Canisius sporting events or the lack thereof. If I were to compare the lack of support I have seen at soccer games from the student body, I would say we resemble the Arizona Coyotes or the Florida Panthers; somewhere hockey doesn’t belong.
Sure people show up to Coyote and Panther games but unless it’s a playoff game, the stands are hardly packed. Are either of these teams good? Not really. Sure Florida has “Star Power” with Jaromir Jagr and Roberto Luongo but it seems to be the only selling point for fans.
The point is that we resemble the fans of Arizona and Florida’s hockey teams too much. Our men’s soccer team played “rival” Niagara Wednesday. The attendance of that game was 413 people according to gogriffs.com. The attendance for the prior home game against Iona was 412 people. How can we sit here and call Niagara a rival, and post all over social media “Go Griffs, Beat Niagara” if only one more person shows up to this supposed rivalry game.
Are there factors at play that make going to games less appealing? Sure there are. I wager most people in Frisch, Bosch, and Dugan don’t want to walk to the KAC for a game. People living in Village probably feel the same way. Delevan resident’s have the shortest walk, but there is still another factor at play; the weather.
We live in Buffalo. It gets cold. It sucks. I watched a women’s soccer game played in snow last week. Disclaimer: I was inside our nice new sports production studio in Science Hall for that game, but you were probably in your dorm room or some other indoor place at that time but you most definitely were not at the game.
And yes I know our team’s aren’t having the best seasons. Sure it’s not the most appealing thing; watching a team struggle in the standings. But I reminisce on a Canisius Niagara hockey game I went to last year in Niagara. It was my first assignment for this paper. The Purple Eagles dominated us for the first nine minutes of that game. Then we took over and scored the first goal of the game. Surprisingly it was decently loud in Niagara’s rink and the Griffs had scored. But 45 seconds later the Purple Eagles scored to tie the game back up. Literally the best possible response to a goal you can get in hockey and the Niagara fan’s were dead quiet. I heard more sighs that Niagara scored than I did cheers and it was Niagara’s rink. We scored three more goals and won the game. The point is, if we want to brag about beating Niagara or any team for that matter, then don’t stoop to their fan’s level and not show up to support your team.