MARK MCDONALDGeneral Manager
At most universities, Saturdays are a hallowed event filled with tailgating, school spirit, and a football game. College football is one of the most popular sports in the United States, a growing phenomenon that even garners the attention of the President. Although St. John’s has many high-quality sports, it is lacking a football team.
Student engagement and school spirit are two issues that people consistently criticize at St. John’s. Although it is not a sure-fire solution, college football teams have been a consistent way to galvanize students into unifying for other universities, so why wouldn’t it work at St. John’s? Having a football team could be a solution to the identity crisis that St. John’s has been experiencing for many years now. It is a social event that many are sure to enjoy, and could result in a more tightly knit student body.
The image of walking into DaSilva Field on a Saturday afternoon to a sea of red shirts, the sound of cheering fans, and the feeling of intense competition add together to create an experience that would surely keep the student body coming back for more. While other sports are great, football is a proven way to engage students at many universities.
Going to a college football game is an experience that no other sport can provide. Every possession is intense. Game-changing plays can happen any second, making each and every drive intense and filled with excitement.
The thrill of watching and experiencing a team as it plays through different weather conditions makes you feel almost like a part of the team. College football also ignites intense school-to-school rivalries that add a dynamic element of entertainment to the experience.
Some may believe that the cost of bringing in coaches, preparing facilities, and scholarships for the players themselves will cost too much money, and that the investment in a football team will not bring a return. However, athletics are usually big moneymakers for colleges, and football is among the biggest. If St. John’s were to add a football team, it would almost certainly result in more revenue for the school.
From the national coverage to the TV rights, the income from a college football team would be significant. Ticket sales, merchandising, and food sales are just a few of the areas that would see increases as a response to the addition of a football team.
In addition to these benefits, having a football team would help in recruiting new students. The allure of college football is something that many prospective students take into heavy consideration when choosing a school. A football team and the way that students embrace the experience is often used as a gauge for how involved and school spirited the general student population is.
Overall, a football team is something that could be used to help light a fire under the student body of St. John’s and change the attitude of the entire school. From apathetic to excited, uninterested to intrigued, a football team could change St. John’s from a cold-weather front into a full-fledged Red Storm.