It was hard not to notice.
As The Score's cameras moved in to capture the images of the Western Mustangs celebrating their Mitchell Bowl win Sunday over Saint Mary's, there was an unmistakable backdrop — the empty seats behind them at TD Waterhouse Stadium. The crowd was officially announced at 4,759.
The dot-orgers have been wondering what was up with the evident lack of support for such a storied program that was hosting a bowl game for the first time in more than 10 years.
Less than 5,000 fans for a semi-final game is dismal, regardless of the extenuating circumstances, but less . A snowstorm swept across southwestern Ontario the previous day. There were NFL games on TV and the OHL's London Knights had a home game — and London, still flush from a Memorial Cup in 2005, is a big hockey town. (Whereas in Kingston, the owners of the junior hockey team have done a great job in making the city a football community.)
This is not meant as Western-bashing. The 'Stangs were home for the previous two weeks, so why would people stay away? One hopes fans come out of the woodwork for the Vanier Cup — and match the display of school pride that Laurier had in 2005.
Has Western lost it? (cisfootball.org)