While trying to reconcile some of the disappointment and discontent about the relative position of the Houston Cougar football team, there are a few determining factors that get lost amongst the lesser factors such as on-the-field talent, quality wins, and football petigree. UH’s failure to thrive can’t be ascribed to these attributes or items such as another school out to get UH, a conference or TV network that doesn’t want UH, or a coach that moves on and leaves UH with 4 hungry kids and crops in the field.
Yes, we’ve had some bad times Lucille. But, if not for any of the above reasons, then what?
When kids go to college, many seek the campus experience with lots of students everywhere- walking to class; food court, dorms, and around town. Kids everywhere at a time in their lives when liberalism and openness to ideas is at a high, and where going out on the town means being vulnerable and silly in what is hopefully a safe campus or college town. After college, what do these wage earning season ticket holders remember? Their hard work, and the good times they had in their dorms, walking to class, going to games, going out on the town, and growing up in an institution that they forever identity with.
This identity was on display when my friends made me go with him to the Aggies versus Kansas state. I was secretly rooting for KState but the faithfulness of the Aggies army, including grandpa’s to newborns would have made cult leader david Koresh blush.
In addition to having a primary affliction manifested in a lack of student identity with the institution (due to urban sprawl or commuter campus of wherever, UH is so disadvantaged by being in the ghetto. Maybe you’re totally comfortable going to games, but more often than not my head is on a swivel walking to and from my car. It’s not a place you would want your daughter being vulnerable and silly like 6th street.
Finally, I think UH is unlucky. UH is good better than 50% of the power five but somehow they got kicked out before the party started and can’t get back in because ESPN is losing its customer base and the keys are dry.
Unless UH can address their urban commuter profile, or make the area around campus more desirable, then today’s students and tomorrow’s boosters will continue to demonstrate apathy at the turnstile while the rest of us raise a toast to auld Lang sane in a stadium or bar that still has seats for the taking.