October 26, 2016

The UVA Football Fan Experience, Part II: Chronicles of Kendall

Since the birth of my first child, here's what I've personally been treated to, live and in-person, over the last 8.5 years (starting with the present, and going in reverse order)...

2016

  • Virginia 49, Central Michigan 35 
  • Richmond 37, Virginia 20

2015

  • Boise State 56, Virginia 14 (beatdown in the rain) 
  • Virginia 35, William & Mary 29

2014

  • North Carolina 28, Virginia 27 (too many men on the field) 
  • Virginia 45, Kent State 13

2013

  • Virginia Tech 16, Virginia 6 
  • Clemson 59, Virginia 10 
  • Georgia Tech 35, Virginia 25 
  • Duke 35, Virginia 22 
  • Ball State 48, Virginia 27 (this was when I decided I was done with Mike London and being a season ticket holder) 
  • Virginia 49, VMI 0 
  • Oregon 59, Virginia 10 
  • Virginia 19, BYU 16

2012

  • North Carolina 37, Virginia 13 
  • Virginia 41, Miami 40 
  • Wake Forest 16, Virginia 10 (ball bounces off of Khalek Shepherd's facemask) 
  • Maryland 27, Virginia 20 
  • Louisiana Tech 44, Virginia 38 
  • Virginia 17, Penn State 16 (Sam Ficken misses four field goals and a PAT) 
  • Virginia 43, Richmond 19

2011

  • Virginia Tech 38, Virginia 0 
  • Virginia 31, Duke 21 
  • Virginia 28, NC State 14 
  • Virginia 24, Georgia Tech 21 
  • Virginia 21, Idaho 20 (OT) 
  • Southern Miss 30, Virginia 24 
  • Virginia 40, William & Mary 3

2010

  • Maryland 42, Virginia 23 
  • Virginia 24, Miami 19 
  • Virginia 48, Eastern Michigan 21 
  • North Carolina 44, Virginia 10 
  • Florida State 34, Virginia 14 
  • Virginia 48, VMI 7 
  • Virginia 34, Richmond 13

2009

  • Virginia Tech 42, Virginia 13 
  • Boston College 14, Virginia 10 
  • Duke 28, Virginia 17 
  • Georgia Tech 34, Virginia 9 
  • TCU 30, Virginia 14 
  • William & Mary 26, Virginia 14

2008

  • Clemson 13, Virginia 3 
  • Miami 24, Virginia 17 (OT) 
  • Virginia 16, North Carolina 13 (OT) 
  • Virginia 35, ECU 20 (Cedric Peerman) 
  • Virginia 31, Maryland 0 (under the lights -- but this is the first time I noticed our attendance woes) 
  • Virginia 16, Richmond 0 
  • USC 52, Virginia 7 (I puked on the concourse due to 102-degree heat -- Scott Stadium was like a wok)

I chose that span of time because once you're a dad, there is real sacrifice to attending these games... until/unless the kid(s) have fun there themselves.  {That actually happened for us at the Central Michigan game, praise the heavens.}

Anyway, 8.5 seasons... and that was what... 21 wins against 27 losses, including two losses to FCS foes, three losses to VT (against zero wins), three losses to North Carolina (against one win), two losses to Duke (against one win), and two losses to Maryland (against one win). Of the 21 wins, 13 were against G5/FCS foes, and thus only eight against P5, and only seven against ACC opponents. In eight-and-a-half seasons.

48 Fatherhood Saturdays I have sacrificed to Virginia Football, and the return on investment has been very, very, very low. Excruciatingly low. An overtime win over Idaho isn't exactly "fun." Thumping a bad VMI team in 95-degree heat isn't fun. And losing - no matter what that loss looks like - is not fun.

Anyway, my kids are old enough to be playing their own sports, doing their own stuff, camping with the Cub Scouts (missing the Louisville game for that this weekend), whatever, whatever, whatever... and I'm making the conscious decision to throttle back on sinking my fall Saturdays into UVA Football when it is so abundantly clear that the administration gives approximately zero shits about trying to make attending games in Scott Stadium more fun or fan-friendly (or cheaper!), despite all of the losing on the field.

I believe wholeheartedly in Bronco Mendenhall. My chips are in the middle of the table; I'm all in on Bronco. But he's got to deliver some meaningful wins before the fans start shuffling back into Scott Stadium. He's got to deliver some meaningful wins, and he's got to do it for several seasons in a row. I think he can - and will - do that. And I'll be glad to spend more than my cursory 2-3 games attending the festivities once we're at that level of success and the ROI is a bit better... but not before.



We're fans, not lemmings. We've walked off of cliffs and into the crashing ocean waves enough times to know to stay the hell away.

I guess what I'm saying is it's not 'chicken or egg.' There is direct causality here. The losing, re-seating, and rising costs have caused the fanbase to go into hiding and gameday atmosphere to erode.

I say bring back the $99 season ticket. That'd be a start.



3 comments:

  1. I live in Asheville NC, I'm a big fan saying that yes I will drive eight hours to watch them get beat 59-10. I love that school, that team, and UVa in general. Nothing will ever change, I bleed orange and blue. I do not have kids but it's a big sacrifice to watch them and be heart broken Saturday after Saturday. I do believe in Bronco, but London lost my faith after failing to beat tech or unc.

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  2. That was unbelievable. It was an incomplete pass. No if ands or butts.

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  3. Though we loss to Louisville, the UVA fans there were loud and rowdy - stomping on the bleachers, making all the noise they could to disrupt Louisville's offense. I'm certain if the stadium was completely filled we would have pulled off the WIN! Yes - the 12th man (fans) is part of the failing UVA football program.
    -MK-

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