Will Arizona Football Fans Support Ever Rival Basketball?

Dec 29, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; A general view of Arizona Stadium before the Nevada Wolf Pack play the Colorado State Rams in the Arizona Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; A general view of Arizona Stadium before the Nevada Wolf Pack play the Colorado State Rams in the Arizona Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports /

Unless the Cats win big, expect the support of the Arizona Football program to continue to be less than stellar.

Last year I wrote a piece about Arizona Football titled ‘Will Tucson Ever Be a Football Town?’. In it, I talked about the conundrum that some of Tucson has in supporting the Arizona Football program.

Tucson has a great core of fans that love Arizona Football, but if it ever wants to rival the fanaticism, the basketball program has, something big has to happen.

The Cats need to start going to Bowl games that are not in New Mexico, or cities in Louisiana not named New Orleans.

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I don’t say this to diminish the accomplishments of any Arizona team of the past because any bowl game is an accomplishment and should be considered a great reward for a winning season.

I say this as an observer of the city of Tucson during my lifetime.

People love winners.

The reason there are so many Yankees, Lakers and Steelers fans are due to those teams traditionally win. They have all won for decades upon decades. They may have a bad stretch here or there but you know they will right the ship at some point.

How many Jacksonville Jaguars fans do you know?

A quarter century ago, the New England Patriots were one of the biggest laughing-stocks in the NFL. Countless playoff appearances and four Super Bowl Titles later they are one of the most popular teams in the league.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

If you were a kid in southern California in 1985 who would choose to root for? The Lakers Magic Johnson and James Worthy or the Clippers Benoit Benjamin and Michael Cage?

The Lakers dominated the NBA. The Clippers dominated at being horrible.

Today Lakers fans are now miffed at the sudden explosion in Clippers supporters. It’s no surprise with the Lakers in a rut; the Clippers popularity has advanced the past few years.

The Clippers fans of today are doing the same thing the Lakers fans did 30 years ago. Supporting an impressive winner is key.

When Arizona Basketball went 4-24 during the 1982-83 season, if you wanted to get a front row seat, all you had to do was move from row 40 to the front row because likely no one was sitting there.

McKale was a ghost town.

After 30 plus years of winning big, seats in McKale hard to come by.

The basketball program’s success hangs a shadow over Arizona Stadium, and some fans don’t know why the Football program can’t have the same success as the basketball program.

May 20, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Former college basketball coach Lute Olson smiles before a press conference for Steve Kerr (not pictured) as the new head coach for the Golden State Warriors at the Warriors Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

What Lute Olson did when he came to Tucson does not happen, and if it does happen, it’s almost rarer than a funny Adam Sandler movie.

Every once in awhile a UConn will rise in basketball, or an Oregon will come out of nowhere in football, but the chances are if you are not a traditional powerhouse program, your not going to turn into one.

You might have a great season now and then, but you’re not going to dominate like Kentucky Basketball and Alabama Football have done for what seems like forever.

The only way I see Tucson loving it’s football as much as their basketball is if the Cats of the gridiron start winning big and often.

Playing in the Rose Bowl would not hurt either.

Under Rich Rodriguez, Arizona has done a good job. He has taken four straight teams to bowl games and even found a way to win the Pac-12 South a few years ago.

But sadly that is not good enough for a lot of Tucson.

Tucson doesn’t want to be good; it wants to be great.

Next: Arizona Football : Top 5 Gut Wrenching Losses

Until Arizona makes a big leap towards the college football elite, expect lots of Tucson to continue its excuses of why they don’t go to the games.

Bear Down!