There are 21 official NCAA varsity sport teams at California Lutheran University and a total of 27 teams including the additional six junior varsity teams. With that being said, there is a lack of school spirit and pride in terms of home game attendance, no matter what sport or season it is at Cal Lutheran.
My high school student section was the highlight of every Friday night football game and it almost seemed like we were having more fun in the student section than the players on the field. My football team made it to the state championship game and the amount of peer and community support they experienced was a pivotal factor in their success.
There are few sports on campus that get a respectable number of fans for home games, but they can still have more. Shout out to the select few that go to games with painted bodies and leave with no voice left. I acknowledge you.
Cal Lutheran is a small school and there are several athletes on campus that appreciate fan attendance and student support, so let’s be there for each other.
The home field advantage includes the bonus of having a roaring crowd that is encouraging the home team and psyching out the visiting team, but there is no advantage without that fan base.
The 12th man for the Seattle Seahawks sets the Seahawks apart from every other team in the NFL. The collective spirit that the average 67,000 screaming fans at CenturyLink field bring provides a sense of community and an unquestionable home field advantage for the Seahawks.
Gary Wright, spokesman for the Seattle Seahawks, expressed his opinion in a New York Times article about the importance of a fan base.
“Right from the beginning the fans realized they made a difference and that was their way to participate in the game,” Wright said.
Not everyone is particularly interested in sports and that is OK. If you don’t plan on using your voice to yell in a student section on a Saturday night then so be it, but maybe use that same voice to say good luck to the girl or guy on the soccer team who sits next to you in history class.
Sports offer such a sense of community, not just for the teams themselves, but also for the fans. Let’s be sure we don’t miss out on that at Cal Lutheran.
We have a special group of people at our school so let’s be different than every other team we face in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. I want other schools to dread coming to Cal Lutheran, not only because of the talent on our teams, but because of the overwhelming number of fans that the opposing team has to battle.
It doesn’t take a population of 67,000 fans to show what true team pride means. As a student body, let’s start our own version of the 12th man at Cal Lutheran. Tailgates, color outs, viewing parties for away games, caravans and all the other things that bring us together.
Whether you wear an official jersey or not, every student should be proud to represent Cal Lutheran on their shirt or skin for that matter.
There are so many current loyal fans from the Thousand Oaks community for various sports at Cal Lutheran. If our student body joined forces with the community and with each other, we could create a culture shift we’ve never seen before at Cal Lutheran.
Whether you are a student athlete, a student, faculty member or any part of the Cal Lutheran community, join the bandwagon because everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. True school pride provides that opportunity.
Published November 11th, 2015