It's Time for UH Fans to Shut Up and Start Showing Up

Stephen Pinchback/Houston Athletics Communications
UH QB John O'Korn drops back to pass against Southern
Dear UH football fans. I realize the Cougars lost to Vanderbilt by 41-24 on Saturday. I realize that 8-5 appears to be a more disappointing keg season than 9-4. I realize that AAC football is really nothing more than C-USA 2.0.

But that aside, the time for excuses is over. Not excuses for the team's performance. Excuses for your performance. Excuses for non-sellouts and large sections of empty seats in small stadiums. The time for excusing your non-performance as fans is over.

UH fans like to bitch about being treated as second-class citizens by the local media. They want the Chronicle featuring them on the front of the sports pages more than UT and A&M. But it's not just about team performance, or about the beat writer actually having graduated from UT and being biased against you.

If you want the media attention, if you want the same treatment as UT and A&M, then you have to earn it. You have to not only sellout every game, you've actually got to show up for the games. You want the media attention, then stop bitching about the placement of the stories in the Chron and instead actually click on the links and read the stories. Don't leave your whiny missives on your fan websites, leave them on the Chron website. Show them that you're reading the stories. That you care. But most important of all, show up at the damn stadium.

UH fans always have great excuses for not actually attending the games. The stadium's a dump. The parking's bad. They don't like Reliant's tailgating policies or they don't like BBVA Compass where the expensive seats have awful views of the game action.

Sometimes it's too hot. Or it's too humid. Or it's cold or raining or it's a weeknight or the game time is too early, or too late. There's the excuse about lousy competition or it's a holiday or some other nonsense.

Here's the deal. There's going to be a brand new stadium in 2014. On campus. Just like you've claimed to always want. There will be real seats instead of 1930-era concrete bleachers. The stadium will have all of the modern conveniences and fancy scoreboards. There's a parking garage and room for your idiotic tailgates. It's your stadium, not the Texans, not the Dynamo. Yours. So that place better be packed to the gills for every single football game.

Game times are going to change throughout the season. That's what happens when a team moves to a so-called higher profile conference that lets ESPN dictate all game times to best fit its programming schedule. You want more national media attention? Well this is the price that has to be paid. Whining won't help, and games with huge swatches of empty seats are really bad for the school's reputation, and no keyboard warrior will be able to combat the visual of empty seats like UH dealt with this past season for the Memphis and Cincinnati games.

Tony Levine appears to be building a good program. Seventeen of 2013's starters are returning, including QB John O'Korn and a dynamic group of receivers. There's a new offensive coordinator, Travis Bush, taking over from Doug Meacham who fled to TCU after taking over from Bush who took over on an interim basis in 2012.

UH finally looks to have a decent defense. Coordinator David Gibbs has worked to change the unit's culture, simplifying schemes and stressing fundamentals. The Cougars led the country in turnover ratio in 2013 on the basis of a defensive unit that forced multiple turnovers a game.

The schedule's never going to be full of marquee games, not playing in the American Athletic Conference. And UH is not going to the Big 12 in any version of any conceivable future. But the school did make a step-up, it's getting attention on ESPN due to the TV contract.

The time for excuses from the fan base is over. There's a new stadium, a new conference, and games on ESPN. The team is winning, and it's loaded with talent. The only thing missing are the sell outs.

Fans can't use the Reliant excuse, or the BBBA Compass excuse this year. It's your team on your campus in a new stadium coming off a bowl appearance. You want respect in Houston? You want the same treatment as UT and A&M? Then stop sitting at your keyboard and whining on message boards. Show up and sell out the stadium for every single game like good fans do.

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Erickson Ernest
Erickson Ernest

Agreed. Too many apathetic fans. Support no matter what!


Maybe my vision has gone, but if you forget this year and look at the last several in The Rob, we were at capacity for the majority of games.  2013 was an odd year.  Heck, I go to all home games, some away and all bowls and I didn't enjoy going to games this year.  Football games are a social event and this year many of the people who sat together for years and years were separated and spread all around the stadium.  It just wasn't any fun to go and have to sit with people you don't know.  I went, but it was what it was.  Back to years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 ... the Rob was at capacity for most games building a very nice trend.  Maybe you missed that because you weren't at games? 

Shouldn't the city embrace us just as Alumni and Students should?  If you stand outside a game in Alabama or UT, or Tennessee or LSU and ask the people walking out of the stadium how many are alumni or students, I bet a significant number will say they are "just fans."  So yes, it's time for Alumni and Students to stop with the excuses, but it's also time for the City to stop.  There are College football fans in this city and the beauty of that ESPN thing you mentioned ... we aren't often playing at the same time as your favorite team so come on out!


I once was one of those UH Cougars... not attending games unless there was a "really good" incentive. My excuse (lousy as it is) is... my (then) husband hated football or most other organized sports. Within the last 2 years, I have not attended any basketball games but one baseball game.

Within the last 2 years, I have been at all the home football games and have been really disappointed to see the lack of students at the game. Especially when they got in for FREE !!! I was happy to see my alumni but more of us need to attend.

We also need to make it known to merchants that we want to see more UH Cougar merchandise. It greatly pleases me when I go into a store and see UH merchandise. It greatly annoys me when I see how little when compared to UT or TAMU.

I think more money needs to be spent on the althetic programs- that is the only way that we are going to improve and get great players. I would love to see UH go back to what we were in the late 1980s and early 1990s with football. Those were some great games.

My plans for now... to continue being a season ticket holder, going to every game (possible) while taking my kids, and visiting merchants that sell UH merchandise.

I have room to grow and my plans are to continue growing. Basketball games are next on my list, womens and mens !

Tired of the maroon and burnt orange in town.



Being a COOG since 2002 I have seen the trend and can see how some can lose faith in the program. UH has seen two recent coaches poached by programs that like to think of UH as a "lower program". Art and Sumlin both could have really done wonders at UH but were grabbed during the rise of UH football.

It is very difficult and something a lot of fans are tired of. Just recently we lost another Offensive Coordinator to another program. While I think UH needs to invest more into the coaching staff, I can see that their focus is on the campus grounds. I graduated 5 years ago and can say the campus looks completely different. Dr. Khator has done great things and am excited to see what else she has in mind.

UH is the 3rd largest public university in the state and will continue to grow. With that growth will come fan base. ESPN had an article about UH being a sleeping giant and it only needs a chance. I don't see the Big12 opening its doors because why would it want to add more competition to landing recruits. UH was a force during the Southwest conference days and am waiting for that shot at a level playing field. I would love to see the Pac12 want a piece of Texas and its largest city.


It cannot be emphasized enough that strongly improving attendance must happen and happen quickly. There is no doubt in the next 5 years, if not sooner there will be even further realignment in the power conferences of NCAA football.

In a state that already has 3 universities in 2 conferences that have 40,000 season tickets sold before September even arrives the numerous excuses of weather, 11 a.m. start times, etc , etc  simply have to be a thing of the past

When then there were at least two or more 11 a.m. start times inn 2013 for programs such as Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Florida, Florida St., Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State I find it more than questionable that UH attendance should have suffered weekly in 2013 or ever suffer in the future when the Coogs or merely being asked to have start times that the most storied programs in NCAA football have played at for years.

After all, the new conference that offered such greater advantages than CUSA was originally called the Big East.

Regardless of TV contract affiliation, what time of day should a conference called the Big East schedule its kick off times ???


I was at a basketball game once where no one was there but the cheerleaders. Freaking pitiful! And I'm told that half the cheerleaders don't even attend UH, that they seriously are students at other area colleges. WTF!! Disgusting display of student organizations/support UH!! Get it together. Atleast start within your own "athletic organizations". FAIL!!


You had me at "disappoint keg."


The lack of attendance at the games is a bit perplexing. One would think that the runs of success that both football and basketball have had going back to the 70's and 80's would have created a fan base for Cougar athletics. During the 70's when Cougar football was the dominate team in the SWC we had to endure racist insults because the Coogs were the first college team in the state to heavily recruit black players. At a time when A&M and Texas football teams were mostly white the Coogs were mostly black. Fans and alumni from other colleges in the state referred to us as the Cougroes. The head of the Cotton Bowl committee said of the UH fan base that half of them eat at the 7-11 and the other half rob it. Those are just two examples of the virulent racism directed at Cougar athletics and their fans over the years. Then of course there's always the constant reference to the school being located in the predominantly black 3rd Ward. For some reason fans from other schools in the state use this as a reason to disparage the University of Houston. I've been on the campus at all hours of night and day over the years and I've never been touched by crime. Not once.


The fact of the matter is UH fans have NEVER shown up unless its Texas, A & M or Tech they are playing. UH is a commuter school . Its located in an unsafe part of Houston. Its not fan friendly. Houston is not a sports knowledgable city. Most of the fans are fairweathered and will just jump on the bandwagon when its hipped to do so.

Back in the 80's I saw UH play Dean Smith's North Carolina Tarheels play in a half emptied Hofheinz.


Love love love every single word spoken. As an alumni and season ticket holder I can not stand the lack of attendance and enthusiasm amongst fans. We must do our part and support the team NO MATTER WHAT! I wish the athletics department and upper management would call out the fans to show up and support our boys and girls rather than bitch form their couches!

Puller58 topcommenter

Dunno.  Cougar's tend to be endangered species at UH games.


@LilFlwr I don't think that is true. I believe you have to be a UH student to be a cheerleader at UH. 


@TexasForever A couple of things...

The attendance has steadily grown in recent years. While it is not nearly enough, the base average attendance is larger than it was in 2005.

The "commuter school" comment is quickly becoming outdated. UH now has over 8,000 students living on campus. This is good enough for the second largest on campus student population in the state. New independently owned student apartments have opened across the street from campus with additional plans in the works to add several more. Over a billion dollars of construction and renovations are taking place on campus as I type this, transforming the UH of old stereotypes into a top flight urban university similar to UCLA, USC, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, etc. While it will take time to do this, progress since 2008, both academically, aesthetically, and athletically has far surpassed any this university has seen in recent decades.

As far as UH being in an unsafe part of town, yes it is. The historic 3rd ward of Houston has been let go and abandoned by the city of Houston. What I mean the Representatives of those neighborhoods have refused to let UH and other developers buy land to develop housing and businesses calling it "gentrification" of the neighborhood. Well now the metro rail has tracks laid down scott st. between UH and the neighborhood people fear and those nice urban housing projects and apartments you see in midtown are slowing making their west east to UH. Note: I take no political stance here on "gentrification" just repeating what I have read on the subject.

Yes Houston is a city of transplants who root for other teams other than Houston's and the University of Houston has many apathetic alum who I assume feel wronged by the University's administration throughout the 90s but I see a new breed of professional and supportive alumni coming out of UH and its about damn time.

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