Fans, prepare to ?blackout? TCU

By By Nick Pappas

By Nick Pappas

I decided to make a phone call to the Utah ticket office early Monday as a fan wanting to show support for his team.

Me: So, I hear that the TCU game is going to be a “Blackout.”

Ticket Guy: I don’t have any details on that.

Me: Oh? Well, should I wear black to the game, since it’s the “Blackout” game and all?

Ticket Guy: I suppose you can wear whatever you want.

Me: But…should I?

Ticket Guy: We should have more information on that later.

It took them long enough. While there have been rumblings that Utah Athletics and the football team would hype up Thursday’s match up against TCU as a “Blackout” game, the official release didn’t come until late Monday. Before that, the real “Blackout” was making sure none of the fans were aware it was even happening.

In case you haven’t gone to the official Web site and read the small print, fans attending the game “are encouraged to wear black attire.” Also, 35,000 black rally towels will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Web site said nothing about rumored new merchandise and the new uniforms the team will be wearing, but they assume we’ll all figure it out.

Didn’t get the memo? Neither did any of the other fans. Utah Athletics needs to take a short lesson on Marketing 101. If no one sees the commercial, no one is going to buy the product. If no one knows they are supposed to dress in black, no one will.

Savvy fans will know and show up in shadows, but the casual student has no idea. For a game of this magnitude, whether it’s a “Blackout” game or not, there should be banners everywhere. There should be a weeklong rally.

Instead, there will probably be that cool football toss game on the south end. The band might play a little before kickoff. It will be lack of business as usual.

I sit in the press box and watch fans dillydally their way to the stadium on game day. There is still a line streaming in near the end of the first quarter. Sure, we continually sell out games, but a bird’s-eye view shows a half empty stadium. I have no problem with tailgating, but it doesn’t mean you wait until the tail of the game to arrive.

What else do students and fans need to be excited about? The team is 9-0 and three short games away from a guaranteed Bowl Championship Series bid. Shouldn’t that be more than enough to arrive on time and cheer your team at kickoff?

Utah Athletics has done a shoddy job hyping up this game even though it has everything in place to give it mystique. Regardless, fans need to realize great teams are built on great support. With the national attention the game should receive, it would be a shame for ESPN replays to show a smattering of fans cheering a Louie Sakoda field goal.

It’s time to pay your respects to a team that has given its heart all season. Make sure to wear black to the game, show up early enough to wave your black towels with pride and allow TCU fans to mourn the loss of their BCS dream in peace.

Oh, by the way, the game starts at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., so arrange a half day at work8212;or better yet, make an entire day of it.

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Nick Pappas