The influence of school pride…

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I am writing this blog as I listen to the basketball game between Brigham Young University and San Diego State University.  It has been billed as possibly the most important college basketball game in Utah.  Ever.  Since the beginning of time.

BYU enters the game ranked 9th in the nation while SDSU enters the game ranked 4th.  SDSU has not lost any games this year and BYU has only lost 1 game.  Added to all of this, the Marriott Center (where BYU plays their basketball games) is sold out…22,700 people in attendance…and loud each time BYU scores a basket.

By the time I finish writing this blog the game may be over.  But I thought that this game would make a great basis for my newest posting.

I am an alumnus of BYU so I am most definitely hoping for a BYU win.  A win for the Cougars would likely help them move up in the rankings, but even better, it will likely help them improve their NCAA tournament seeding while also putting them in the drivers seat to be the conference champions.  I would love to see this happen.  Not that it hasn’t happened before, in fact it has only been a short few years since the last occurance, but to happen this year could be really exciting as the team actually has enough talent to go further in the NCAA tournament than they have for 30 years.  Any BYU alum would enjoy seeing this.

So the question is this.  Why is it that with the team being so good this year, the MC isn’t coming close to being sold out for each game?  After all, Jimmer Fredette (BYU’s star player…you know you have heard of him and if not, just Google him) will be graduating as will Jackson Emery (BYU’s all time steals leader) who have been impressive in their play this year.  You would think that fans would want to see them play each chance they can.

Is this common at other schools?  And what about at different levels (high school and pros)?  Tonight my high school basketball team played our cross-town rivals.  There aren’t any star players on either team but the gym was pretty packed…on a night where they are competing with the BYU game.

With the two high schools there is still a lot of school pride.  In fact, tonight there was so much of it that there were quite a few police officers in attendance to prevent any potential fighting between students.  They went to the extent of making students from my high school exit from the opposite side of the school as those that were hosting the game.

I am not saying that there should be such high levels of school pride that there is a chance for a fight between competing fans.  What I am suggesting though is that there is too much “bandwagoning” with fans because there isn’t enough school pride.

I know that this isn’t the case in all areas of the country.  You only have to go to Texas to know that school pride runs deep.  I worked for a company in Houston where more than 50% of the employees were alumni of Texas A&M.  If you weren’t an Aggie fan, you heard about it…even if they lost to the team you were rooting for.

Do we lose that spirit once we have left that school?  For some the answer is yes.  For the rest I have the following question: Did you ever have any school pride?  Maybe school pride is something that is only felt by people that enjoyed following the sports teams at that school.  After all, I don’t know too many “bookworms”, “nerds”, or “geeks” that had much school pride…or liked sports.

I can tell you that my school pride is still intact…for my high school and college.  I must admit, the school pride I feel for my high school is mostly because my daughter plays for the sophomore girls basketball team.  But I still enjoy seeing them win, especially against the rivals.  My school pride for BYU?  HUGE!!!  If I could only get a job working for the university…  Oh well, I guess school pride isn’t for everyone.  So for those that don’t have much, if any at all, what do you root for?  What does your association with that school mean?  And most importantly, what is wrong with you?

Oh, by the way, BYU just beat SDSU with a final score of 71-58 and Jimmer scored 43.  There is a lot of school pride in Provo right now.

Just another view from a Palmtree.