In my lifetime, I’ve probably attended about 100 Longhorn football games. My family would pack up the van, drive four hours down to Austin and stay with my grandparents. The next day, we would sunscreen up, put on our orange attire and get over to the stadium. The theme of my childhood was, “Come early. Be loud. Stay late. Wear orange.” We came early, were loud, stayed late, and wore orange. In those days, fans stayed until the very end, whether we were stomping our opponent or getting our asses handed to us. It made no difference; we were proud fans regardless of our team’s victories or losses. I learned early on that you aren’t a true Longhorn if you don’t stay until The Eyes of Texas is sung.
Unfortunately, I don’t think this belief prevails anymore. What I saw this past Saturday sickens me. No, I’m not talking about our defeat at the hands of the Sooners, but rather the fact that in the fourth quarter, with four minutes of play left, the Texas section was nearly abandoned. I saw at most about 50 orange-clad spectators in the stands. This is what is wrong with our fan base.
At the West Virginia game, we were deafeningly loud and stayed until the very end. I’ve never had more fun at a home game. I lost my voice before the game even started, and through sheer force of will got it back and shouted my head off for the rest of the game. Most everybody else did something similar.
We should put forth that sort of effort in every game, but even the players and coaches didn’t seem to exhibit much spirit at the OU game. I would go so far as to say that is one reason why we lost so badly in Dallas. We should have been cheering for our team throughout, buoying them up with our support and camaraderie. Our job as fans is to be there cheering whether we win or lose. I hate to say it, but the concept is remarkably similar to the Aggies’ “Twelfth Man” — although, if we were to regain our enthusiasm, we could be 20 times better than them.
We are failing our team. They need us to be by their side, win or lose, rain or shine — to yell, to scream, to shout. We are loud and proud Longhorns. Every fan should “come early.” One of the best parts of the game is the band’s arrival and the revving up before kickoff. We need to be loud. Instead of #MAKEGENODEAF, it should be #GETLOUDDKR every single game. No more burning out. We should all stay late. Only fair-weather fans leave early to beat the rush. True fans stay until The Eyes of Texas is sung. And they wear their orange. Let’s all be real fans again. After all, if a child can do it through 107-degree weather and sunburns, so can you.
Adams is a government and economics junior from Dallas.