Younger, Louder and Better at Football

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The crowd at FAU may be smaller, but at least we’re all still students. On the other side of the field, the majority of the Memphis fans were alumni or just fans of the city of Memphis.

In order to find out what was really going on over at the Tigers’ side, I switched shirts (they wouldn’t talk to me in an FAU shirt) and walked over to the other side.

“I’d guess we’re mostly alumni,” said Ellen Gehrke, whose husband played for the Memphis football team back in the day. Gehrke showed her Memphis pride, dressed in navy attire, traveling with a friend who never even went to the University of Memphis. “We can’t get students to come to home games.”

Apparently, in Memphis, it takes time for pride to grow.

“People who are real Tiger fans,” Gehrke continued, “are Tiger fans for life.” But for some reason, the students just aren’t showing up this year.

“About 10 friends of mine came,” said Kate Allen, a Memphis senior organizational management major. Allen was a hard find, being that the majority of the crowd on the Memphis side was – well, old.

According to Allen, Memphis didn’t provide a transportation service to the bowl game and their Athletics Department spends more time and money on basketball.

“More students go to basketball games,” Allen argued.

FAU, on the other hand, brought two buses full of FAU students – 112 on the sponsored trip to be exact. FAU also sold 1,500 tickets three days before the game.

“Our side is louder,” Student Government Vice President Abe Cohen firmly declared. “It’s amazing to see how many students have come together,” he continued before cheering aloud with other students as FAU scored their second touchdown in the first quarter.

It’s no wonder the Owls did so well in this football game. The dedicated fans are all the football players’ peers – they’re not old enough to be their parents.

Read more New Orleans Bowl Game coverage.