I feel like I can't necessarily write the Baylor Line Report as in-depth as I wrote it last year, but I can write about the student's perspective and how attendance looks from a different perspective, and that is the tailgating perspective. I'm in the student tailgate area starting about 6 hours before game time up until right around kick off, so I get to see how early fans start pouring in, and get to hear some of the sights and sounds from a tailgating perspective. I'm just hoping I figure out a better title than what I have right now. And yes, I know, I missed the Wofford week, but since its a bye week I know you guys are just dying for any new stories on the site, because I know I am. So without further ado, The weekly tailgating report!
Saturday September 7. Baylor v. Buffalo
As I walked up to the tailgating site I was relieved to have some type of breeze accompanying me. Game time was scheduled for 2:30 and there I was at 9:30 to turn this patch of grass and dirt into a place that welcomes people to come and hang out with shade, food, and drinks. Personally, I love tailgating. Once its game day all I can think about is the game, so why not just get to the stadium early and let the excitement build and build all the way until kickoff? Perhaps that is just me, but I also think the more die-hard fans that are able to get to games early, should.
I imagine Baylor does not have the type of tailgate experience that bigger schools may have, but we do our best to make it our own. With a 2:30 start I figured people would start making their way to tailgate about 11 or so. By that time we were all set up. We had the tents up, burgers grilling, and corn hole ready to be played. Most students didn't think like me though. Most, I would assume, had the mindset of, "Oh look, it''s going to be over 110 degrees today. Let's get there right around game time and wait for Baylor to be up 40 and then leave". I can't necessarily say I blame these people, I just wish they would be more invested in one of the better football teams to ever grace the field at Floyd Casey Stadium. That being said, the student tailgating picked up around 1-1:30 and it was nice to see a good amount of people out and about mingling with each other and everyone around them.
Against Wofford, when you looked over the student tailgate zone all you could see were line jerseys. It was like a swarm of bees all over. The game against Buffalo was not the same. The 2:30 start time probably added to that, but it would still be nice to see more freshmen, or just people in general, show up to tailgate. As a student who lives off campus, I love free food. I personally know of different tailgates that give out fajitas, burgers, brats, and sometimes even breakfast burritos all for free. That alone would definitely draw me to something. This phenomena of tailgating for football games only happens seven times this year, and there are just five remaining now. I'm hoping that once the temperature drops below 105 degrees more people will come out. Attendance was ok against Buffalo, but I'd love to see more people out and about before game time as opposed to showing up right at kickoff or just after.
In my previous BLR series, I judged the passion and enthusiasm of my fellow classmates by how many showed up to run the line, how early they were there, and how hyped up (turnt up is overused) everyone is. Tailgating is obviously a lot more laid back then running on to the field and high-fiving all the players running out of the tunnel while Chamber hopelessly tries to restrain us with some ropes. It won't be so different in this series of reports. Time of arrival and numbers are still important, I'll just also try and talk to a lot of people and see what they think of the team to gauge the student's perspective on this year's team. Right now, the feeling around Baylor football is that they are playing cupcake opponents that aren't of any competition. Also, the heat has been a big factor as to why students have been leaving games early. Alumni get to sit in the shade, but for those that have the sun beating on them for hours on end without any clouds to be seen, is really draining. Especially if you've been there for close to a full work day even before the opening kickoff.
Don't get me wrong, The students love this football team, I just don't know if they, as a whole, really appreciate the success this team has already endured, and will continue to have for the remainder of the season. This team is really special. They deserve a fan base that will be behind them every step of the way.
Oh, and one observation about the game, that was smart of whoever designed The Case to put the visiting team in the sun. Think of how demoralizing it is for our offense to orchestrate touchdown drive after touchdown drive on a defense that then has to go to the sideline to get "coached up" then within 5 minutes they have to go back on the field, and get scored on again. All in the sun. I'm sure they want to stay in that locker room forever come half time.