But I balk at the notion of bullying students into coming to games. Imposing guilt trips or making comparisons to other schools (Ivy or otherwise) seems to be the wrong way of getting undergrads to fill the stands.
Students should attend, because going is fun. From haplessly creating near-obscene posters, to orchestrating "Hey number 25, you suck" cheers, to watching some of our world-class athletes in awe--these all make for super early-Saturday night activities.
To a certain degree, this campus is in love with having the same conversations over and over again: how the Core is as screwy as a Kennedy family reunion; how blocking groups ought to approach the size of small European nations.
Sound familiar? Discussions over that sparse attendance at athletic competition fall into this lofty category.
And although I would like to see more rowdy fans at a variety of home games (or sometimes fans at all), I think that sometimes it is easy to lose sight of why athletes play their respective sports in the first place.
As a schedule cardless athlete, I feel the need to remind those teams who don't draw the largest crowds that ultimately crowd-size shouldn't matter.
All of us, athletes and non-athletes alike, engage in activities for the pure enjoyment of them, not because people are cheering in the background. Of all the sporting events that I have witnessed as a Harvard student, some of the most impassioned have been those of inter-mural sports. These athletes, and yes they are athletes despite their lack of a major H, battle it out for themselves and their team/housemates. An empty MAC or QRAC does not hinder their enthusiasm.
But this is not to say that cheering crowds at Harvard games are not important or that the Athletic Department should supply all teams with schedule cards. Indeed, fans can influence the outcome of a game. They also make an athlete feel pretty darn good.
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