Should athletics continue to take place on a university campus?

Jay Love's Headshot-Sports Editor

The scent of dad grilling fills the air and the sounds of cheers echo on Saturdays this time of year. College football, among other sports, is upon us, and I cannot be more excited. 

Like many of you, I am ready to enjoy viewing parties this year. Yet, at every viewing party I attend, there is always one person who gets dragged along and doesn’t understand why fans care so deeply about sports. To some, sports are just a bunch of jocks running into each other. But to me, sports mean so much more than a group of people tossing a ball around. 

Sports, college athletics and professional leagues, all possess a special type of passion shared by both the athletes and the fans. College athletes are typically the guy or girl, who has never cut corners, never made excuses and stuck around after practice for extra reps because of their love for the game. This love that drives college athletes through tough practices is shown during competition and is something that cheering fans can feel. 

Speaking of fans, the love that a fan has for a team is something special. A true fan will always be there to support their team through thick and thin. Being a fan of a struggling team tests a fan’s devotion and commitment, something the world today is lacking. Perhaps one of the greatest feelings this world has to offer is being able to celebrate your team winning alongside with other fans. Sports offer people the opportunity to have a sense of camaraderie with complete strangers, as long as they are supporting the right team, that is. 

Despite all the emotions that athletics can cause, there are more reasons as to why sports should matter to us. Two years ago, the Lions football program reached new heights and made it into the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs. The Lions hosted two playoff games in the 2013 season; a feat that did more than unite the campus to cheer the team on. According to a study released by the Southeastern Business Research Center, those two playoff games brought in an estimated $835,000 to the Tangipahoa Parish. Almost two million dollars was brought in due to two games. Imagine how much impact a deeper run into the playoffs would do. 

Alumni may find it difficult to remain connected to their alma mater once they have graduated. Athletics offer the alumni who wish to continue supporting their university a chance to get excited once again for their school. Whether it be becoming a team booster or cheering on while watching a game on television, an alumni always holds a piece of the university. 

The funds earned from athletics hopefully helped businesses in the Hammond area. With the way Southeastern athletics are heading, there should be more to come. The camaraderie and experiences I share with my fellow Lion fans on gamedays will forever be priceless.