We’ve had bigger responses, but hardly more passionate than those received in the past two weeks over…declining attendance in high school football…Aaron Hughes…and are Americans really ‘protesting’ the right things?

It was published just a week ago, but in the time since fully fifty people have emailed, texted, or taken to time to comment in person over our October 23 column entitled, Why Are Crowds Down For High School Football.

And in fairness, some of the more poignant (and passionate) ones have been left out of this sampling because they simply were over the top – too much of a good (or bad) thing in terms of how the point was expressed. In other words…as sportscaster Jim Carr said in Slapshot, keep your comments within the realm of good taste.

“You made quite a deal out of saying that GWOC fans don’t drive to away games, and there’s a reason for that. Games in Xenia, Springfield, Lebanon, Springboro and West Carrollton are just too far.” … Michael (Sidney)

“The photo you ran of the state tournament in Ohio Stadium told me nothing. You could put 30,000 in there and it would still look like no one came to the game. Get real with the illustrations you make.” … Tim Bennett

(Ed Note: How’s it unreal if no one’s there, regardless the size of the facility? 5,000 is still 5,000. Anyone who was there saw it, and anyone who looks at that photo will draw the same conclusion.  Empty is empty.)

“There’s a lot of reasons why I don’t go to football games anymore, and some of them are pure greed. I stopped going when they started charging $2 to park, because as a taxpayer I already own the land they’re parking on. That’s what we pay school taxes for. I’m not paying twice.” … James Stringfellow

“You probably underestimated the biggest reason for not going to the games. It’s too easy to sit at home now and watch them on TV.” … Tom Killilea (Columbus)

“Part of the reason for not going to high school football games must rest with the media, because I never thought I’d live long enough to see high school games broadcast on television. They’re robbing from the schools to pay their own bills.” … Linda Hickey

(Ed. Note: Yes, Linda, but as many people wrote to say that media is the reason they don’t know who’s playing, and when, because of poor media attention. So, which way would you have it?)

“While I agree with you that there are more choices (of things to do) besides football now, I cannot agree with you that people stay away because the football is not as good as it used to be. It has always been up and down, because it’s played by kids.” … Harold (Troy)

(Ed. Note: I think we made that point, that it’s always been played by kids. But in the overall context of how you choose to do what you do on Friday people are fully aware now of the quality of any product before they choose, even in Piqua and Troy. For instance, since 2006 when Piqua won it’s state championship, in the seasons since the Indians record has hovered just above the .500 mark. And against teams that have won at least seven games in a season their record is just 8-30. Likewise, when you look at the MAC conference, five years ago the average MAC team played at least four teams during the season with as many as seven wins. Now that number (in the past two seasons) is almost half that. People are aware, and you have to take that into consideration.)

“I read your story and I’ll add this. I stopped going to games when they raised the ticket price from $5 to $6, and now they tell me that some places charge $7. I quit going to the state basketball tournament when they wanted $12 for a game. It’s too much, when you consider a bottle of pop is $2, a bag of popcorn is a $1, and a slice of pizza is $3 dollars. You can buy a hotdog in the store for a quarter, a bun costs another dime, and they’re charging $2 for that, too.” … Larry Hardy (Ironton)

“To your point about college games on Friday night, sadly high schools must learn to live in the same competitive market as every other financial endeavor. We live in a dog eat dog world and it’s never been more evident.” … Kyle Murr

“Quality of football does matter when you consider that people are willing to pay $150 to watch Ohio State play, and choose that over $5 to see the high school games on Friday night.” … Joe B

On our recent column about Tipp City’s Adam Hughes, there was a lot of hometown appreciation for his story:

“Great kid, and very deserving.” … Kyle Corbin (via Facebook)

“Thanks for sharing this story, and also for making the point about Lane and High Street. When I went to Ohio State in 1968 that was exactly what my dad reminded me of…how fortunes and lives are lost and found at the corner of Lane and High. Make good choices.” … Thom Elliott

Finally…the recent columns pertaining NFL protests and the national anthem, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and boycotting the games, brought this impassioned response:

“I find it odd that we care so much about entitled professional athletes showing their disrespect, while we give a free pass to the entitled politicians in Congress who show all American people, not just a particular race, the same disrespect with their lack of willingness to compromise and govern effectively. Why should you care enough to stay away from a football game if you don’t care enough to hold your own congressman accountable.” … Ray Perdue (Columbus)

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