Impressive attendance at football season opener
Sammy's Picnic this year accomplished what, in past years, has taken a combination of Reliant Stadium and the University of Texas. Good food, a fun tailgate and a general party atmosphere all contributed to a huge turnout for the Owls' first football game of the season. The Thresher commends both the picnic's organizers (a combination of the Student Association, Rice Athletics, and Housing and Dining) and the Rice community for coming out in full force in full grey and blue attire.
Despite the fact that many students felt a bit coerced by being forced by the closed serveries into going to the stadium for dinner, the picnic and tailgate provided the feel of a real game day, something lacking at Rice in past years, especially since some of the biggest games of the past few seasons were held at Reliant Stadium, not Rice Stadium. The abundance of fans and Rice colors outside the stadium contributed to exciting the mood of all Owl fans and making the atmosphere of the game uncharacteristically electric.
The bleachers were filled with hordes of fans, and despite a slow start from the Rice football team, fan support did not dwindle until the game fell out of reach. The Thresher hopes that attendance for the next home game will not drop off despite the game's disappointing outcome, as has happened in past years after disappointing openers.
It will be important for campus organizations to continue providing exciting tailgates and pre-game festivities for home games if this level of attendance is to be replicated. While athletic support may not be rampant at Rice, making game day a full-scale social event that includes a number of enjoyable activities other than the game will undoubtedly serve to keep attendance at future home games bolstered.
As the football team continues to make strides, the extracurricular game day festivities may not be necessary, but until then, the Rice football team may not be enough of an attraction to fill Rice Stadium on Saturdays.
The Thresher was impressed by both Rice's offensive firepower and the community's outpouring of support in Thursday's game and hopes to see much more of both for the rest of the season.
The Owls' next home game is against Marshall on Sept. 22, and the following week, Rice will battle the University of Houston at Reliant Stadium for the the Bayou Bucket title. After the embarasment Rice endured at the hands of Case Keenum last year, we will undoubtedly seek revenge at this high-profile incredibly, anticipated game. The Thresher hopes the student body and community will turn out in full force.
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