By: Emmett Golden
Attention Cleveland! There will be basketball this year. The Horizon League regular season champion, Cleveland State Vikings are back. Coach Gary Waters has a good mix of seniors and underclassmen this year. Even after losing the conference player of the year in Norris Cole, the Vikings have five returning starters.
Senior D’Aundray Brown, who miss all of last season with an injury is back at 100 percent. Starters Trey Harmon, Jeremy Montgomery, Tim Kamczyc, and Aaron Pogue all return as well.
This should be another good year for CSU but will Cleveland notice?
On many nights last year I watched a group of young men play a very entertaining style of basketball. They defended, pushed the rock up the court, and scraped their way to a league title and a trip to the NIT.
The only time the city got behind this team was when the Butler came to town. There was a “decent” crowd for the last home game of the year when a win meant not having to share the league title.
I know how fans will rationalize their lack of support. They will say, “Hey when we did get behind them they loss.” sorry Cleveland sports fans, that is a lame excuse. During the football season you (the Cleveland sports fan) sellout Cleveland Browns Stadium to watch the Browns lose, almost every Sunday.
You pay twice, in most cases three times the ticket price to watch what has been a last place team lose. When was the last time the Browns even played a meaningful game?
More people go to see the Gladiators and Monsters play and no offense to them but that is inexcusable. At the very least the crowds should be equal. Don’t let the “mid” in mid-major fool you.
Cleveland State is a major college basketball program. The only mid-major team that has been more successful than the Vikings is Butler. That may be where the problem is.
The issue with fans in Cleveland is that their expectations are always ridiculous. Fans in Cleveland see Butler make it to the Final Four and the championship game and think, “Why isn’t Cleveland State making it that far?” not many teams do people.
Instead of expecting Final Four appearances why not just support kids that play and STAY for four years. I am not saying that the Vikings are the best team in college basketball, I’m saying they deserve your support.
The best thing about the NBA lockout is that if you want to see some basketball you won’t have many choices. Maybe your local high school or sitting on your couch watching college teams in other cities and states play.
That might satisfy your basketball jones but the experience won’t be the same. Did you know that last year when the Cavaliers players wanted to watch some basketball, they came to CSU?
Why wouldn’t you do the same?
I will tell you this, if you go to the Wolstein Center this year to see the Vikings play, win or lose, you will enjoy yourself. I’m challenging you Cleveland! Be the great sports fans that I know you are.
Support YOUR college basketball team.