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How to improve CMU football games

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As the two members of the Carnegie Mellon student body who have been to the most football games out of anyone here (that’s verified, don’t fact check us), we think it’s high time that other students shared in the joy that is watching Division III football from Gesling’s illustrious bleachers. Look, we get it, Carnegie Mellon isn’t exactly a renowned athletic school, but the Carnegie Mellon section and presentation of the program is…how should we put this…pathetic.

We all know Andy loves his money, and this often feels like a missed opportunity at raking in more of it, especially when the on-field product is, believe it or not, great. Games will start out with a mediocre crowd at the beginning, but it’ll slowly dwindle down until it’s nearly empty by the end. The two of us have won free Double Tree cookies two games in a row just because there’s no one else really there to claim them. As much as we love the free cookies, when that’s one of the only things we have to look forward to during the game, it gets kind of sad.

So why is the Carnegie Mellon section so empty? We think there’s simply a lack of spirit surrounding the game. In America, football is of big cultural significance (shoutout to Eshaan’s sports section), but it’s barely mentioned on campus. Neither of us would know about the games here if it wasn’t for knowing a cheerleader, and that’s pretty sad. Carnegie Mellon could do a much better job advertising these games, especially since our team is actually pretty good! We’ve gone 3-1, and each Tartan victory was by at least a 31 point margin. Watching a live game can be a lot of fun, and quite frankly, there isn’t much more to do on a Saturday afternoon other than homework, so catching a home game should give everyone a break from that pesky Carnegie Mellon grind. Who knows, you might even win a cookie.

We think that there are several tactics Carnegie Mellon could use to get people in the stands besides free cookies, though. A concession stand would be a great start. Overpriced American food is a staple of such games, and it would more enjoyable than the announcer's suggestion to “head on over to Scotty’s Market across the street for a hot meal.” As much as we love Salem’s, we don’t think it’s exactly the right vibe for the game.

Also, if Carnegie Mellon could work out ways to have other giveaways, we think that more people might show up. Raffles? Free t-shirts? The random chance to win free things would bring the spirit that’s sorely lacking from these games. What about a Beat the Freeze-style race where someone runs against a track athlete in the Scotty fursuit? Or, bare minimum, can we learn some fan cheers to encourage the players on the field? We could teach the chants to incoming students during O-week. While Eshaan may say “Roll Tarts” jokingly, maybe we need to start taking it seriously. We need something.

As lovable as Kiltie Band and the cheerleading squad are, they can’t carry the entire stand spirit on their backs for four quarters. They look like they’re having so much fun out there, but we wish we could cheer along with them. We don’t know the lyrics to the touchdown song, so we’re only able to listen. Aside from their cheers and the announcer, there’s not much else to listen to. Get some music on! Make some fun graphics for the scoreboard! Speaking of which – this would be a great opportunity to commission art students to help improve some of the graphics that do show up on the scoreboard. We have a world-class art school and yet PNGs of tacos inexplicably appear instead of exciting videos to bring the crowd into the game.

All that being said, we have so much fun at these games. We just wish that other students would join in on the fun and support their school at the same time. We get it, our school isn't known for its athletics, but there’s so much opportunity to foster a community that cares about Carnegie Mellon. We’re all students here, and yet there are next to no Tartans in the stands. We would love to have more!