Baylor’s bad gameday culture: Early football games kill school spirit

The early homecoming football game causes a rushed schedule and interferes with gameday atmosphere. Illustration by Grace Everett | Photo Editor

By Matt Kyle | Assistant News Editor

This weekend’s homecoming football game is set for an 11 a.m. kickoff. It will be the third 11 a.m. game Baylor plays this season and the second morning game at home. We have had a 2:30 p.m. kickoff against Oklahoma State and a 6 p.m. kickoff against Albany at home.

Not only is this early game another in a continuing trend, but the 11 a.m. start time has also pushed the start time of the homecoming parade up by an hour. While there is enough time between the end of the parade and the start of the game, there is still a considerable overlap when it comes to tailgate time.

A good tailgate should go for two to three hours before the game, but this homecoming, fans will have to choose: watch the parade or tailgate.

For homecoming, I’m willing to wake up early for the parade. But it is also homecoming, and I would like to go to a tailgate before the game. And for all the
people participating in the parade, it creates a big time crunch between the parade and the game — not to mention the huge traffic jam that is bound to happen, though that happens every game day, and pretty much every other day in Waco.

I would like to tailgate before an 11 a.m. game any day, but I also want to sleep in on a Saturday and not have to wake up for a 9 a.m. tailgate. It just isn’t exciting enough to wake up early on a Saturday to watch Baylor thrash Texas State.

Plus, morning and early afternoon games mean the games are in the hottest part of the day. I have little incentive to stay at the stadium when I’m tired and sweaty and the Bears are beating down some unknown team or getting their own butts kicked.

I know Baylor has very little to do with deciding what times their games are; that is all up to the TV networks. And we aren’t doing well this year, so we aren’t going to get primetime spots. However, Baylor fans can still make the most of this season and finally make Baylor game days fun again.

Early tailgates aren’t the best, but we can make the best of them. As fans, we have to show up for our team. We can’t only show love when Baylor is winning.

It took years for Baylor to build the great athletic programs we have now, and fans have to stick through a down year here and there. I’ll be the first to admit that I leave at almost every halftime.

But if we aren’t filling up McLane Stadium and making it loud, we can’t keep the home-field advantage, and we won’t get primetime games.