Charlotte students play vital role in creating the excitement around 49er football
49ers football has come a long way. When 19 of the seniors being honored this Saturday came on their official visits they had to wear hard hats to look around the football stadium. Now they are two wins away from going to a bowl game.
This season Charlotte has struck gold on the road, snagging their first conference victory against FAU down in Florida. They then went into a hostile Marshall environment and came home victorious. After a bye week they traveled to Southern Miss and brought back yet another win to the Queen City.
The only time the Niners have won at home was against Elon back in September. However, there have been two games in Jerry Richardson where the 49ers lost by only one point, those games being the 27-26 loss to FIU and the 22-21 loss to Rice.
Six years ago, students on the Charlotte campus did not have a football team to cheer on. These players, especially the senior class, have put in all they can to build the foundation for a successful football team. Their efforts can be seen throughout this season having already claimed four wins, coming back from the 2015 two-win season.
Regardless of what anyone says, the 49ers are a solid football team. No team in recent FBS history has gone from starting a program, competing in FCS and jumping to FBS as quickly as Brad Lambert and the 49ers have.
Last season Charlotte scored 210 points the entire season. With two games remaining, the 49ers have already posted 257 points against their opponents. The defense has made stops as well, allowing 344 points this season. This stat includes a matchup against a now No.3 Louisville team, in which 70 points were given up.
With Hasaan Klugh at the helm of the Charlotte offense, the 49ers have become a competitive team and are two wins away from being bowl-eligible.
It’s time to create the football atmosphere around campus. The football team is doing their part, now the students need to step up. Just like our football team didn’t pop up over night, the atmosphere won’t just appear on campus either.
There are two areas that one could possibly blame: student awareness and student participation.
The Sports Marketing Association does an excellent job creating awareness of athletic events. From Tailgate Tuesday’s to dorm storms and sending out text reminders, students are informed about when football games are occurring.
I believe the problem stems from lack of student participation.
Each game there are 4,500 free tickets allocated for student use, however on average just over 3,000 seats are used. For a school that enrolls over 23,000 undergraduate students that is pitiful.
In order for Charlotte to become a “football school” students must invest. This means showing up to tailgates and then going to the games. If an electrifying atmosphere is created within the stands of Jerry Richardson, then maybe the 49ers could have pulled through in those one-point games.
This Saturday it’s time students show out and back the Niners in their bowl pursuit. Go online, take two minutes and reserve your ticket to the game. Then after you reserve it, show up to the game.
The equation is simple. Football + Fans = Atmosphere. Do your part, Niner Nation, and add the fan base to the equation so Charlotte can have the football atmosphere it deserves.