It was a perfect night for football. The air was crisp — as the darkness set in, the lights came on. The only problem? The crowd.
Maybe the decidedly pro-Laurier crowd was due to students leaving early for the Thanksgiving break. Maybe the crowd seemed more supportive of Laurier because Varsity Blues fans didn’t have much to cheer for in a humbling 54–3 loss. Regardless, in the Blues’ sole night game of the season, the fans simply didn’t show up.
While the Blues have not posted a winning season once in the last 10 years, there isn’t any real reason why fans shouldn’t show up in droves for a night game. If you’re a student, and you’re looking for a fun, free, and safe thing to do on a Thursday night, I can’t think of a better option than a Blues football game.
Even if the sport isn’t your thing, there are many other incentives to draw you to the Varsity Centre. There are plenty of giveaways of free merchandise. The cheerleading team and dance squad work hard to keep the attendees entertained, even in the throes of a blowout. There is the element of school pride. There is the fact that it’s located on campus within walking distance of plenty of bars.
The Varsity Blues have only one night-game per season. This game has varied in dates: this year it was on a Thursday. Although most games are played during the day on Saturday, the Blues have rarely played on Saturday nights.
Perhaps the games would see a rise in attendance if more games would be played on Saturday nights. After all, the inconsistency of the night game’s date is confusing; if students could reliably know that the night game would be on a Saturday night, maybe that would help. Furthermore, if the Blues scheduled a team easier than the top ranked Laurier Golden Hawks, maybe the game wouldn’t be such a lopsided affair.
There weren’t very many positives for the Blues on Thursday night. The Blues had 5 turnovers, the offensive line struggled to get any kind of push, and Laurier quarterback Michael Knevel absolutely carved up the Blues’ defence to the tune of 274 yards and three touchdowns on 19 passing attempts.
But the atmosphere felt right. The weather was cool. Pump-up music blasted through the speakers. The cheerleading squad flipped and tossed and performed gymnastics. These nights have potential. Even if you don’t like football, or any sport at all, you could still have fun at the Varsity Centre for a night game.