Saturday, March 22, 2014

Today, We Are All Eagles

The attendance for Eastern Michigan's first postseason appearance in nearly 20 years was 373 on Tuesday. That's not 373 fans, folks. That's 373 people in the building. Ushers. Promotions people. The guy who sits at the scorer's table and mispronounces names on the PA.

I worked in college athletics for nearly a decade and when it comes to recording the official attendance its usually done one of two ways. The proper way is through ticket counts, passes issued and a little bit of guessing. The way you do it for smaller sports like volleyball, gymnastics or an underappreciated basketball team is the eye test—then add 100 or so. I'd be surprised if there were 250 people in the stands at EMU's game. Which means fan support was even worse.

Deadspin broke the news (via a tweet from one of Eastern's players) and Mark Maynard covered it a little as well. Tonight at 7pm, Eastern takes on the Columbia Lions in New York with the winner advancing in the Postseason Tournament. The tournament doesn't work like normal postseason brackets do, rather Eastern will be pitted against one of the remaining winning schools based on game results, whatever that means. So there's still a chance (though a small one) that Eastern will get to host one more game this year if they win.

Regardless—forget about Michigan vs. Texas. Today we are all Eagles. The game isn't on TV, but you can listen live on 89.1 FM WEMU (traditional or online) or watch live on Let's hope the Eagles can win this tournament, hang a banner and give Ypsi another thing to be proud of (next to art, gold spatulas and giant sausages).

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