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Buffalo Bulls host Norfolk. Can UB students grow the culture?

Vaughn Ridley

First I would like to say, 'Well done, UB Students'. While the general gate was a bit of a disappointment I can not be more excited about the showing from True Blue and other students against Baylor. You guys came out in force and the nation saw and heard what the UB football culture could become.

Secondly I promise that I will only put up at most one more "come out and support your team" post this year. If UB is in the running for the MAC East, or a Bowl, I'll start to beat the drum but your showing this week indicated I may be preaching to the choir.

I sincerely hope that the defeat on the field has not tarnished your view of the victory in the stands. I've seen UB win games in front of a student crowd a quarter of that size and walked away feeling like something was missing.

Our own David Brand brought a friend to his first UB game last Friday. Dave recounted last night on "Last Bull In" that his friend walked away from the game with a belief that UB does and can continue to bring a big time college experience. His friend's excitement was not because of the old folks who made their way to the game, it was the students who made the difference.

Thank you for coming out on a Friday night and cheering for a team that faced long odds. You showed how far this fan base has come in the 14 years since I graduated.

In October of 2003 a bad UB team hosted an equally bad Ohio Bobcats program and won the game 26-17. The victory was enjoyed by the 4,423 people in attendance. 10 years later 7,000 students to the showed up for a game that had the Bulls as 35 point dogs.You guys are ten times the fans that we were and you're going to have a richer college experience because of it.

That being said there is still work to be done by the True Blue faithful. The energy and intensity that you brought to the game should not be limited to hosting Baylor, that needs to become the showing every week by students.

UB has one more game to go before they begin their Mid American Conference slate. This week Buffalo will host Norfolk State of the MEAC, an FCS conference team.

I know going from the #8 team nationally on ESPN to an FCS opponent on ESPN3 may seem like a step down but one of Buffalo's best attended games of the modern era was against Stony Brook, an FCS team. As always you don't just go to the game to see a top 10 team, or to see a big win. You go to games to experience something fun with other UB students. This is a short season of your life which will never come again.

Old folks like us bring money to the program. We either buy tickets or donate cash to our Alma Mater. In a few years you will join us as alumni. The role we have is important but by no means is it the the most critical. Outside of the players themselves the next biggest stake holder is the current student body.

I'd trade 7-10 thousand students at each game for a field house any day of the week and twice on Saturday.

Outside of great play on the field, a loud student section is the best thing a school can have if they want to attract outside interest in the program. Current high school seniors considering UB show up at these games. If these future college football players see 7,000 students in blue screaming their heads off for four quarters they may come that much closer to making UB the school they choose.

This weekend a part of that experience is a pre game concert from the Spin Doctors. The concert is free to students and anyone holding a ticket. After that UB plays what should be a tune up game as they try to set up for a Bowl Run for the second year in a row.

Come out and give it a shout!