Show some love for the Women of Troy

Sunday was an important day.

No, I’m not talking about the Super Bowl.

I’m referring to another game that occurred just down the street from the Staples Center.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about: Yes, there actually was another game that took place at 1 p.m. that day.

It was the women’s basketball game between USC and No. 10 UCLA.

As I walked into the arena and looked around, I couldn’t help but notice the sea of cardinal filling up the Galen Center.

But it wasn’t the raucous crowd you’d normally see at a rivalry game such as this.

It was a sea of empty seats.

And among those seats were sections of baby blue.

That’s right — a bunch of UCLA students and fans came into USC’s house.

Not only did they come into our house, but they made their presence known.

They screamed, shouted and booed our Women of Troy, acting as if they owned the place.

To counter their awful eight-clap — silence.

To counter their sign-waving, their finger-pointing and their chanting — nothing.

USC students: UCLA students outclassed you.

Sure, the players’ parents were there for support, but you can’t expect them to be the only ones giving it their all for their own.

On the other hand, I traveled to Westwood for the first meeting between the two teams, and it was by far a different atmosphere in Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA students and fans packed the arena, and they were cheering, chanting and cursing the Women of Troy.

If I were a USC player, I would have felt I was playing in marked territory.

The game between the same two teams occurred Sunday — except this time, it was in USC territory.

You think Bruin fans would think twice before heading into the heart of downtown Los Angeles, but that clearly wasn’t the case on Sunday.

They knew what they were doing, and they had enough school pride (and guts) to come into the Galen Center and support their team.

The tough part about seeing the lack of student support is listening to one of your own acting as if this should be normal.

“I’ve been here for three years and that’s always how it’s been,” said junior guard Ashley Corral. “It sucks to come out on your home court and get booed.”

Unfortunately, that’s exactly the problem.

That’s where we, as students, are supposed to come in.

To see a home team get booed in their own arena is downright awful.

To have your crosstown rivals come into your own house and fill almost an entire section of the lower bowl is inexcusable.

And to let it happen without even putting up a fight is embarrassing.

We’re supposed to be a Trojan family.

It’s up to us, as students, to fight for our school and our team.

We help each other out, defend and support each other.

But that wasn’t the case Sunday.

I can probably count on both hands the number of USC students in the Galen Center Sunday afternoon — and that’s being generous.

Home-court advantage is crucial, no matter what sport you play.

The support of fans changes the whole dynamic of a game. A three-point basket or a home run can send the crowd into a frenzy and swing momentum back to the home team.

And in an important game that had large implications on USC’s conference seeding and its NCAA tournament hopes, having fans show up to this game would have meant everything.

But nobody showed up, nobody supported the Women of Troy and nobody was there to stand up and retaliate against those Bruins in baby blue.

So, my call to you, as students, is this: Show some more love for the women’s basketball team.

They still have a shot at making the NCAA tournament, and at this point in the season, they have a better record than their male counterparts.

I can guarantee you don’t have a problem showing up at the men’s basketball game, so why not show the same support for the women?

Don’t let your crosstown rivals, or any other opponents for that matter, think they can walk down here and act like they own our house.

Have some pride, don that cardinal and gold proudly and support your Women of Troy.

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2 replies
  1. Mel Hughes
    Mel Hughes says:

    Actually there are four sports played at Galen Center: Men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and men’s and women’s volleyball. Only men’s basketball has a respectable student turnout. Even men’s volleyball, now ranked number 1, attracts very few students.

    My wife and I attend nearly every game and match for all four sports. As fans, and not parents, we have gotten to know the parents and regulars like ourselves. We see the same group of dedicated fans at nearly every game. It’s too bad we can’t say the same for the students. If we can drive 45 miles round trip, several times a week, to support the teams you would think the students could walk across Figueroa to do the same thing.

    I do have a suggestion. Women’s basketball and men’s volleyball needs to take a lesson from the Women’s Volleyball team. Several times during the season the fans in attendance are invited to the Kennedy Founders Room following the match to meet the team and coach. Mr. Waters, the stadium announcer acts as master of ceremonies, interviewing members of the team and coach Mick Haley. The post game events give the fans a real chance to meet the players and to get to know them. If more fans actually knew the player perhaps the student attendance would increase.

    Men’s Basketball could use a modified format by inviting fans to stay in the stands following the match. The team members and coach O’Neill could come back into the stadium to be interviewed by Petros. Think how interesting that would be.

  2. Steve B.
    Steve B. says:

    The support for woman’s basketball has been down right lousy the last number of years. The games could be played in the Lyons Ctr. except for ucla and Stanford which would be a lot more of a home court advantage. The ‘ruin punk fans are obnoxious and ill mannered, and some football players are needed to stare them down when they come to Galen Ctr. What the heck are they doing sitting downstairs courtside when they should be in the rafters yelling to their heart’s content. Maybe the Athletic Dept. needs to look at a calendar to see when the Super Bowl is being played not to schedule a big rivalry game that same day . Starting even an hour earlier at noon would have helped to get people back to their homes in more than enough time before the 3:30pm kickoff.

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