The fans, they do care

by billfer on September 30, 2009 · 17 comments

in 2009 Season,Fan Experience

Post image for The fans, they do care

Drew Sharp was disappointed in the turnout for last night’s game with “only” 30,000 fans in attendance. But it appears that everyone who wasn’t at the game was watching the game on television as last night’s Tigers game was the highest rated one ever on Fox Sports Detroit. Ever. More than the excitement of 2006. More than the expectations of 2008. Ever.

Last night’s broadcast brought in a 13.6 rating topping the 13.5 that last year’s Opening Day received and the 13.4 that the final game in 2006 mustered. Last night’s game peaked at 18.6 for the final half hour.

Now I’m a little disappointed that the park wasn’t full last night, just as I was disappointed when there were only 25,000 for Ernie’s farewell. But I can’t necessarily call the fans out and I certainly can’t say that they don’t care.

The Tigers have never drawn well when the kids go back to school. Often times it is because the team is out of it, but there are just additional pressures on people’s schedules where a last minute decision to go to a game isn’t feasible. I make it down to about 20 games a year and try as I might I can’t make it down for any of these 4 – and it’s not that I don’t want to. And I’m probably not alone.

So people watch on TV. Sharp says it is “embarrassing” that a town that provides itself on sports passion didn’t fill the park. But the passion is still there. The Tigers game last night was the highest rated show in Detroit. That’s not just among cable outlets. No, it was the highest rated show in Detroit, beating out NCIS which drew a 10.6.

Yeah, I wish the park was full but to call it is embarrassing isn’t accurate. There are pressures in people’s lives that kept them from the park. A lack of passion isn’t one of them.

 
 

{ 17 comments }

stephen September 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I’m sort of in the middle of this. I understand the September family pressures and economy issues. But we basically gave up the home field advantage with that first game. Yes, I know it was makeup game, but I think in places like Philly, Boston, and New York there would be tons of fans who knew this would be their only chance to see the pennant race in person. Then again, the beforementioned markets have much larger population numbers to draw from. I’m just worried tomorrow’s 1pm game is going to be sparsely attended and negate the home field advantage.

Jeff September 30, 2009 at 7:10 pm

“But we basically gave up the home field advantage with that first game.”

I don’t think HFA has much to do with the crowd.

“Then again, the beforementioned markets have much larger population numbers to draw from.”

The Boston area is about the same size as Detroit’s.

billfer September 30, 2009 at 5:44 pm

What made the first game yesterday light is that the Tigers couldn’t sell tix for it. The Monday night game sold 35k and those tickets were good for Tuesdays game. Many probably had to work or go to school and the Tigers only had 5k they could sell that day

stephen September 30, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Yeah, I hear you but you would think the ticketholders would have been able to give them to friends or coworkers. Then again, they only had about 12 hr notice.

Kathy September 30, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Give it up stepehen, there are hundreds of thousands of reason why the ball park wasn’t full.

Mat September 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Wait, so you’re saying Sharp said something inaccurate, misleading, or made a claim based on narrow or barely relevant evidence? I’ll just have to hop all over that link to see such a thing. ;)

People still read the free press?

Jason September 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm

I also heard Sharp’s radio commentary and in his defense he wasn’t alone in calling out the fans on the radio air waves today. Maybe it is because the big SI cover story high lights it that much more or maybe its just Drew being his same old self. I kinda thought him going back to a regular radio gig would get him to mellow out some but guess not. The Tigers have been drawing very well thru the summer non-school months and between back to school and work pressure I can see why the numbers are not higher.

Anyways on a more positive note lets break out the gum and “gumtime” it up with Nate the Great.

Mike in CT September 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Let’s put last night behind us. Hopefully the people that go to Comerica tonight can make some noise and not be on pins-and-needles for nine innings, even if that’s the way the current team makes everybody feel.

Handing out free towels to wave wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world, even if its been done to death.

cassidy September 30, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Sharp has not paid for a ticket in 20 years. He goes to the games for free, sits in the press box eating bad chicken sandwiches and glad hands with the national media. When he is done, he goes home and writes a stale article critiquing the fans for not caring or not being into the game enough. He doesn’t like the perception that the fans create for the national audience. Meanwhile, Drew Sharp and his old school journalism is a perfect example of why the traditional newspapers are going out of business. He has nothing to offer. He has written the same article 100 times.

Andrew October 1, 2009 at 7:14 am

Yeah, it’s a tired act. I can pick out a Drew Sharp article just by the headline. Who wants to read such drivel from a Negative Nancy?

Kevin in Dallas October 1, 2009 at 8:24 am

I think the most salient point is “he has written the same article 100 times.” I rarely go to the Freep or Det News for Tigers analysis. I get it all right here. If Drew had something novel to say, perhaps I’d visit the Freep. Multiply that out and perhaps newspapers aren’t dropping like Lindsay Lohan.

Kramer September 30, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Drew was interviewed out here in Seattle for our local station this morning and he just ripped the fans. He kept saying “We are supposed to be this great sports town but the fans have given up on this team”. He went on to say how we would be more excited if the Lions win 4 games than if the Tigers make the playoffs but the bandwagon would fill back up if the Tigers do make it in.

The guy is a tool in my opinion, it’s one thing to bitch in your local column, but I am proud to be from Detroit and a fan of Detroit sports and I find it unacceptable to broadcast to another city how you think your local fans suck.

DA in NE October 1, 2009 at 3:16 am

The only reason I go to freep.com is for Drew’s columns. I don’t always agree, but I feel he is more often on point than off.
I have been lurking here for the last few years since I discovered it via Bilf speaking to Beligian on the defunct WDFN. I don’t disagree. I understand both sides methinks.
In ’06 ish wasn’t as bad as it is now…the economy and whatnot. Plus we were looking at the playoffs for the first time in forever. Pero, do we want to eliminate Detroit from the convo of important cities? Because in every important city (population wise) the game would have sold out. I get the early game not being sold out, but the late game? If ish wasn’t so bad their that Detroiters weren’t scared to call into work the next day…the fans would have come out. I get it, my pops just got laid off last week, and everything there is uncertain…but it is a great Tiger town.
I went to 20+ games in 2003, the last full year I lived there. Drew is right…sorta. But at the same time…I listen to 97.1 everyday via the stream..and the overwhelming tone from callers is that of angst…not hope. In ’06 it was hope. Many fans this year seem like they are watching way too much ESPN…and believing that this team isn’t good enough. I can’t help but think that if ’06 didn’t happen, that game would have been sold out.
If they wrap up the division later today, I feel great about their chances in the playoffs. I just want a rested Justin and Ryan for a 5 game series against the evil empire.

Slashpyne October 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm

I will be forever thankful to Drew. He convinced me several years ago to stop drinking the poisoned Detroit Lion Kool-Aide.

Jenius October 2, 2009 at 1:34 am

They’re only staying home to save money for playoff tickets. I’d be doing the same thing if my po’ ass lived there.

It ain’t Atlanta, where your playoff game tickets are available any time, even the late innings of game 5.

Jerry October 2, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Hey Detroit, are you sure you want these guys to represent your city in the playoffs. First, You have got to want to win. Second, you don’t want to disgrace your team to the whole world. This team looks so bad that to watch them is really hard. Have fun Detroit, you have been given a another snow job by a bunch of clowns. First its a tie between the embarassing Lions now its the TIGERS (Misfits)

Jerry October 2, 2009 at 9:10 pm

TIGERS sold out the CITY. Nice going Leyland!! Ha Ha

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Switch to our mobile site