Game day or the highway: Show up for Baylor football

Gwen Henry | Cartoonist

By The Editorial Board

If it’s 4 p.m. on a Monday and you’re not watching a little stick figure walk across your Student Ticket Account at a snail’s pace, what are you doing?

Football games are a universal Baylor student experience, and you don’t have to be a huge sports fan to enjoy them. Even more than first downs and field goals, football games are about community. There’s a reason tens of thousands of people are willing to brave the Texas heat for hours on end — and, spoiler alert, that reason is not just the score.

So, next time you or your friends try to use the “I don’t like sports” excuse, keep in mind that football games are just as much a social event as they are an athletic one. They’re about green and gold outfits and cowboy boots, tailgates in Touchdown Alley and the communal walk across the bridge, constant Sic ‘ems and the Baylor Line.

Game day in the student section is an experience unlike any other — and the clock is ticking on your time to enjoy it. The student section has some of the best seats in the house, especially for freshmen, and they’re completely free. To put that in perspective, a single ticket for a much worse seat at the Sept. 23 game against No. 4 Texas starts at $100. Take advantage of the free front-row view while you still can.

Obviously, the 2023 season didn’t get off to the start Baylor football (0-2) had hoped for, but don’t count the Bears out just yet. There are a record eight home games this fall, with the first away game not coming until Sept. 30 against new Big 12 foe University of Central Florida. The team undoubtedly still has a lot to leave on the field — not to mention its last game against Texas before the Longhorns head to the SEC. A thriving, supportive crowd may be just what the players need to find the energy for a win, so show up and show out — no more leaving at halftime.

Even if the scoreboard isn’t pretty, though, remember that student-athletes are equal parts student and athlete. Just like the rest of us, they’re teenagers or 20-somethings who go to class, have personal lives and are simply trying to figure out their place in the world. Unlike the rest of us, though, their shortcomings are broadcast on a jumbotron and live TV. So, next time you consider starting a demeaning chant or badmouthing the team, give the players some grace and think about what the scoreboard would look like if you suited up instead.

The atmosphere of McLane Stadium and the joys of football season are so special. So, put on your most spirited green and gold outfit, clear your Saturday schedule and cheer loudly enough to make it on the jumbotron a time or two. You’ll miss game day someday. Live in it while you can.