Family Matters: Drake Parents on the Family Weekend Atmosphere 

In his March 2018 piece for Center Field, aptly titled “The Graveyard,” Jack Griffith noted that a game day at Marist College is “just another day.” Once a year – the family weekend football game – that assessment could be deemed incorrect 

In contrast to the standard desolate Saturdays the school experiences throughout football season, the stands became somewhat involuntarily packed on this particular weekend. Parents come to visit their children; there are some options around campus, none of which are blockbuster attractions, so with nothing else to do, they migrate to Tenney Stadium in search of some cheap, midday entertainment. 3,918 of them did this year, the third largest number in the stadium’s 13-year history.  

But what about the fans on the other side? Opposing fans show out regularly, regardless of it being a family or alumni weekend. But is there any added pressure when the home-stands are a bit more occupied than usual? 

“You would hope anytime you’re at a home game, you’d have the advantage, right?” Byron, a Drake fan and father-of-an-athlete said. “On family weekend, [I’d assume] the stands are pretty full… it probably gives you a bit of an advantage.” 

Sure, but is it at all difficult to combat the fans even if they’re just louder in numbers? 

“Well, for us,” Byron continued, “the worst part was finding a parking spot.” 

It seemed like many a fan bordered on unfazed, not fretting too much about the circumstances of the day, and more so on just watching the game and cheering when applicable. 

“It’s a small stadium,” Drake father and fan Marty said, his son Joe standing by and nodding in agreement. “What do fans do? They make noise, they disrupt the other side. There’s nothing more than any number of people can do.”  

Joe echoed a similar sentiment, one that happened to echo Griffith’s from “The Graveyard.” He mentioned that “moms and dads don’t heckle that much… if there [were] more students, if there was a student section, maybe. Probably not parents.”  

Even on the away side, you could spot more red than blue. Not everyone could fit in the home stands – it was actually packed for the first time in a year – so they “infiltrated our side,” lamented Jill, a Drake fan. She promised she was joking.  “It’s fine that we got the luck of the draw for family weekend and they have more fans. But these are our seats!” 

You know, it is a small stadium. 

“Well, whatever. At least bring your own chairs. You already have more fans than we do!”    

Edited by Doug Johnston

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