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Packed stadium supports bears

Nov. 4, 1997

What a day for the university!

It may have taken Head Coach Dave Roberts a while to get his first Big 12 win, but, oh, did he do it with style! And for the first time in a long time, Floyd Casey Stadium looked like the home-field of a Big 12 winner.

Seeing the 42,000 fans at Saturday's homecoming contest, you would never guess the Bears were a 1­6 team with no chance of getting a bowl bid. From the time the homecoming parade started to when the goalpost came tumbling down, it was the perfect college football experience.

The west side of Floyd Casey was full for the first time this season, not counting when the Nebraska fans filled the student section. With thousands of alumni filling the east stands as well, the scene was set for a Baylor upset. When it was all said and done, the Bears won what may have been their biggest win since the Grant Teaff era.

As a reporter, I get a chance to see Baylor games from a unique perspective. In the fourth quarter, reporters go down to the field, waiting to enter the locker rooms for post-game interviews. Previous games were pretty disappointing, I don't mind saying. Baylor's other home games were not close in the fourth quarter, and most fans left early to get home to do laundry. I didn't feel bad for the players when they lost to Nebraska 42­21; it was expected. But I did feel bad for the guys when they walked over to sing 'That Good Ole Baylor Line' and no students were there to support them in the loss.

But at Saturday's game, there was excitement in the air. Fans were loud, and the Bears never quit. And when the band struck up 'That Good Ole Baylor Line,' fans were not only in the stands supporting the team, but on the field as well.

You can't expect there to be that much excitement for every Baylor home game -- or can you? Just like the team has to improve to keep up in the Big 12, so must the fans. It may take a while, but Coach Roberts and the Baylor Bears will be winners in the Big 12. But first, Baylor fans must prove they deserve a winner, and Saturday they did just that. The Texas win was a success for Baylor -- the players as well as the fans. But it's easy to support the team after such a great game; we must also support the team when they fall.

Unfortunately, the Bears only get one more chance to play in front of a home crowd, and that game won't come until Nov. 22. The Bears may be 2­8 by then, or they may be 4­6. Whatever the case may be, the stands should look the same for that game as they did on Saturday.

When that day comes, remember the Texas game and do your job as a Baylor fan. Stick around for the entire game, and support your fellow students who give all they have for our university. And win or lose, stick around for 'That Good Ole Baylor Line.' The Oklahoma State game will be the last game for the 14 seniors on the team. They have given four years to the university; surely you can give an extra hour back to them.

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