Shame on You, SMU
Blackistone: you're an 'embarrassment'
Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
This past Saturday, The Dallas Morning News published a piece by columnist Kevin Blackistone that had to be the most harsh, brutal, depressing bit of opinion Ed Board has ever read. Blackistone took every SMU student and sports fan out behind the woodshed.
Ed Board would love to fight back, but like a scolded child, we abashedly know the finger-wagging Blackistone was right.
So, what did he say?
Blackistone's column, ostensibly a commentary on the search for a successor to departing Athletic Director Jim Copeland, starts innocently enough. A few paragraphs in, Blackistone turns on the shame.
Drawing comparisons with TCU, Blackistone observes that the gem that is Ford Stadium and all its amenities did diddly-squat to help SMU in the one area we, the students, can control: fan support.
Blackistone calls the student fan base here "an embarrassment" and "moribund," suggesting that we just might be the very worst fans in the nation.
Guess what? He may be right. The football team's most competitive season in years was watched by an average of 18,630 fans. TCU drew 13,000 more per game.
Ed Board remembers seeing some of you at the game, particularly Homecoming, when, after your sorority sister failed to win queen, you retreated for more mimosas. The men are just as guilty; too much pre-gaming, not enough game.
Basketball is an even sorrier state of affairs. SMU has not one, but two competitive teams. Both have winning records and dynamic players worth watching.
On the men's team, fans have the opportunity to see two talents with NBA prospects play together in senior Bryan Hopkins and freshman sensation Bamba Fall.
Fall alone is worth the price of admission, which, of course, is free. He's a 7-foot-tall monster who averages three blocked shots per game and is a defensive stalwart. Ed Board is officially anointing him with the nickname The Senegal Wall.
Attendance for women's games is the blackest mark. Ed Board saw the women thrash Southern Miss, with whom they were tied for second, and also noted that there were none - zero - students in the student section. Just Ed Board and the band - which did damn well at being the only student fan base in the building.
Perhaps you didn't know sophomore post Janielle Dodds is an All-America candidate on a team with legitimate NCAA tournament chances.
Ed Board knows you're busy, and that is our biggest beef with Blackistone. SMU is in Dallas, not Fort Worth. President Turner pointed out last week that no matter what SMU sport is in session, at least two pro sports compete with us. We are not the only game in town.
We are, however, ourselves. The athletes we choose not to embrace and the teams we complain about are us. Our classmates, Greek brothers and sisters, and friends represent us well, and we don't support them.
Blackistone said SMU could never again rise to the heights we reached when we were cheating. Ed Board knows he is wrong on this point. Let's prove it to him. The men's basketball team hosts Tulsa tonight at 7. The women face them Sunday for first place in C-USA. Ed Board will see you there.