Calling all Herd fans: It’s time to pack the Joan


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Coming into Saturday’s football game against Florida Atlantic University, the Thundering Herd was undefeated. We were ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2002. Quarterback Rakeem Cato threw his record-breaking touchdown pass and passed up Russell Wilson for consecutive touchdown passes in the NCAA. ESPN was on campus Wednesday to film the team.

What does that all add up to?

Lack-luster attendance at Saturday’s game.

Wait, what?

The official attendance was just 27,236. If the crowd was loud, maybe the number wouldn’t have mattered, but we didn’t even have that.

It was disappointing, and it needs to change if we want the national attention we complain we don’t get.

You know who is getting the national attention? West Virginia University. College Gameday is heading to Morgantown next weekend. Why? Because they (stupidly) burn down the city when they beat an undefeated Baylor University? Maybe, but it’s also because they fill a stadium, win or lose. That kind of enthusiasm draws attention.

Where is the undying support? Why aren’t we packing the stadium?

It shouldn’t matter if everyone thought the Herd would easily beat FAU or not. The fact the beginning of the game was so rough is proof those men playing on the field need our help.

This is your call to action, Herd fans. If you say you bleed kelly green and white, then you need to get to the ticket office right now and get your ticket for Rice. We have some time off to relax until we all file back into the Joan, scream our lungs out on third downs and let the whole tri-state remember We are…Marshall.

Rolling Stone’s Michael Weinreb said it best in an Oct. 24 article when he said not all college records are alike and not all undefeateds are alike.

“Because Marshall plays in Conference USA, which is not one of the ‘Power Five’ conferences, its (potentially) undefeated season is considered a false equivalency. Because Marshall plays in Conference USA, it is very possible that, even if the Herd go undefeated, a ‘two-loss’ team from a major conference could get chosen for a playoff spot ahead of them,” Wienreb wrote.

“This, of course, is not an issue for most college football fans, because most college football fans are rancorous partisans who happen to be clustered in the upper tiers, in the Pac-12 and the Big Ten and the Big 12 and the SEC and the ACC. This is not an issue for most college football fans because they see Marshall as something less than an equal, even though, last I checked, Marshall still plays in the same division,” Weinreb continued.

If we don’t pay attention, why on Earth should we expect anyone else to?

When ESPN was on campus, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams said it doesn’t just showcase Marshall, but the entire city of Huntington as well.

“It’s affirming what we have expected for sometime,” Williams said. “It’s affirming the vision that Doc Holliday, Mike Hamrick and Steve Kopp had. When people ask ‘Who would have ever dreamed that Marshall would be in the top 25?’ Well, Doc Holliday did, Mike Hamrick did and Steve Kopp did.”

It’s going to take more than Holliday, Hamrick, Kopp, Cato, Devon Johnson and the rest of the Thundering Herd to take us the rest of the way. It’s going to take all of Herd country.

The football team cannot do it alone, and it certainly cannot feel like it is doing it alone, which is what a semi-full stadium tells them.

We might not be a Power Five conference team, but that doesn’t mean we can’t act like it.