Are You Really Our Fans?

As Boys Varsity Soccer clashed against Taft, something kept nagging at me. The “Blue Mob,” promised by students and administration alike, was nowhere to be seen. The only support we had was ourselves – our team. “When you make all this hype and then you only have a handful of supporters,” said BVS Captain Asa Tuke ’21, “you can’t help but feel disappointed.” Disappointed was an understatement.
After the game, I was livid that our fans and supporters who had once called themselves our family had failed to show up. When asking around, the common excuse, “it was too cold” came up repeatedly. As Tuke continued, “If you truly support a pro team, you support [them] through thick and thin, even when they’re going through tough times.”
While psyche cards and pep rallies put on a show, truly supporting our teams means coming out despite the near-freezing temperatures. After all, athletes have to play outside
in far fewer layers. In order to be a community where we love and support each other, we can only establish a true fan base by going out and supporting our teams no matter the conditions.
“Maybe if you had won more games people would actually attend,” a peer remarked to me after the game. This comment stung. Every day for more than two hours, our athletes give it their all and showcase their hard work on the pitch. Every game, they work tirelessly as a unit to be the best possible. If we, as friends, do not care enough, who else do our athletes have? Our fanbase should be rooted in giving our athletes the support and love they deserve, not simply showing up for successful teams to have a good time.
And while some cared enough to ask how the game went, our soccer team simply did not mean enough for them to stay for even fifteen minutes. It seemed that while the whole school was content to sit through the exact same weather to watch the football game, only a few people thought to stay on the ’49 Fields, where two varsity sports competed at once.
In our locker room, we discussed fake support – the facade of blue face paint and the walls decked in blue streamers and psyche cards. So I am writing this now in hopes of bringing back “the best fans in New England.” “Two years ago, when I was a Prep,” says Tuke, “I was taken aback by the overwhelming support for our teams. It helped me play better, knowing there were hundreds of people taking the time out of their day to stand in the cold and watch our game.”
We must use this Taft Day as a wakeup call; we do not live up to our self-proclaimed title of the “Best Fans.” We need to get out there and support our friends. Most of us will have at most four Taft days as a Hotchkiss student, and I urge each and every one of you to make the time that is left the best it can be and the best of what you have left – for yourself and our greater community.