McCollough: Blakeney is rallying the troops, so fall in formation Trojans

Published 8:26 pm Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Larry Blakeney wants you in the stands at Legion Field on Saturday. He also wants you to find a comfy spot the next weekend at home as the Troy Trojans play host to Duke.

He feels getting off to a fast 2-0 start is vital to the team’s bowl chances this season, and having strong fan support is one of the key factors in getting the call from a bowl executive in the fall.

Blakeney and the team can’t do it alone. They need your help.

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History shows us that fans show up when a “big” team comes to Veterans Memorial Stadium. Five of the top six largest attendance figures in school history have come against schools with name recognition. The lone exception is the 2006 contest against Alabama State, which brought more than 26,000 spectators through the turnstiles.

Those numbers beg the question of are folks coming to watch the Trojans or coming to watch the opponent?

Ask any coach in the country what the most important games on the schedule are, and he will tell you conference games. While teams want to win every single game on the docket, the conference games are the ones that determine who spends Christmas break running errands for mom and dad and who spends it running drills and sprints.

Attendance for Troy’s Sun Belt games has been less than ideal for the last several seasons. While I know games against Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe may not be as sexy to the eye as clashes against Mississippi State and Navy, in the end they are more important.

The more successes the Troy football team has, the more exposure the university gets. The more exposure the university receives, the more chances for the city to be showcased. The more chance for the city to be showcased, the more the likely it is for the town of Troy to grow and prosper. The more…yada, yada, yada.

Only 127 cities across the width and breath of this great nation have the opportunity to say they are home to a FBS football team. If you really care about the future of this community, then you should care about the future of the Troy football program.

Larry wants you in his Trojan Army. Go ahead and enlist now.

Ryan McCollough is a sports writer for The Messenger. He covers recreation, high school and Troy University athletics.