From the Sidelines – Everybody loves a winner


By Alonzo Garza

It’s true. Everybody loves a winner. There is never a shortage of throngs of “Johnny-come-lately” fans riding on the coattails of the hardcore fans when a team is winning.
This became abundantly clear to me when I covered the Lady Lion softball team recently and was amazed at the incredible support from the community.

Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased to see so many people cheering on the local team and I appreciated the fact that they were there with the enthusiasm of professional hardcore fans, but I could not help asking myself, “Where have all these people been throughout the rest of the year?”
The same question could be applied to any sport. Where were they during the soccer games, baseball games, basketball games, and volleyball games, just fill in the blank? Where were the fans all softball season long?
Again, I am not chastising people for coming out and cheering on a winning team. What I am suggesting is that we remember to support our teams through thick and thin, for better or for worse, until… you get the idea.
Maybe our teams would fare better on the court or in the field if they were literally pushed into victories by the roar of the crowds. A little bit of support and encouragement goes a long way.
I am writing this because I was surprised by the stark contrast between the softball game I saw on a Friday and the baseball game I covered the following Monday. Granted, there were slight differences, such as the baseball game was “a JV game,” and it was on a Monday, which is harder to attend, but come on.
I was disappointed and even depressed by the dismal attendance at the game. It was embarrassing to see more New Braunfels fans than Lockhart fans in the stands. It was sad, really.
I have no scientific proof to back me on this, but on a really strong hunch, I feel that the seven runs the Unicorns put on the board in the first inning had a lot to do with the encouraging support they recieved from the stands. Sure, they are a great team and a formidable competitor, but you cannot deny the sheer power of praise and encouragement.
If only there had been someone there (other than moms and dads, sisters and brothers and the kids who use sports events as a reason to stay out of the house and do other things to pack the stands).
The JV team could have used some positive encouragement from a crowd of fans not related to them. A crowd not unlike the one that filled the stands at Lady Lion Field on Friday would have been sufficient.
Anyway, perhaps I’ve said too much. My intentions are not to hurt feelings. Quite the contrary, I commend all the parents and hardcore sports fans for their support of the Lions and Lady Lions. I know you are out there, game after game, supporting not only your children but also the whole team. You are great. Pat yourself on the back and keep doing what you are doing.
This little insight is for the “fair weather sports fans” that wait until the going gets good before they decide to show up and cheer boisterously so they can share in the inevitable victory celebration after the game.
These are the folks I am inviting to join us from the very beginning of the season and follow through on their commitment to cheering on the team.
It is all for one and one for all or is it one for all and all for one? In any case, Alexandre Dumas was right, you don’t have to be a musketeer to cheer on the cause.
That’s it for now. I sincerely hope to see ALL of you at the games.


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