Unlv vs seattle
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

New FSM Feature: Let’s Do Better, Vegas…

Franchise Sports Media

 

It’s “Pack the Mack” night at the Thomas and Mack, and as a photographer for Franchise Sports Media, I’m excited. Every week, TQ and I walk in, and every single game, the arena is practically empty. 

 

UNLV vs Fresno State
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

So I’m pumped thinking this will be the game that I finally get some great photos with the lower bowl full. I’m imagining the sounds: the cheers, the boos, the band. I’m picturing the crowd: little ones in awe of the big arena, the 5-year-old who has recently discovered his love for basketball, the little girls watching the cheerleaders, the alumni who have been in the same seats for the last 30 years. 

I walk into the building like a kid on Christmas Eve — totally expectant and almost giddy. 

What meets my eye makes my stomach drop. I’ve never seen the arena as empty as it is on this night specifically devoted to filling the seats. And as a new Las Vegas resident, I’m appalled and ashamed. 

These guys come out here every game and play their damn hearts out. Donavan Williams used to play against my son in Houston. They remember playing each other, so now I’m picturing MY son out there on that court. I’m imagining how it would feel for him to play in that arena with just a sprinkle of fans in the seats. 

Imagine all your dreams coming true and getting to play basketball at a D-1 school. FINALLY! This is what you’ve worked for! Your hard work is paying off. You practice harder than you’ve ever practiced. You prepare for that season opener. You lace up those sneakers. You help hype up your team. You hear your name called over the loud speaker as the starting lineup is introduced. The arena is dark, the fireworks go off, and the flames spew from the backboard. 

 

Then the lights go up and… WOMP, WOMP, WOMP.  There are more empty seats than seats with butts in them. I’m sure it’s got to be a bit of a let down.

 

www.FranchiseSportsMedia.com - UNLV vs UCSD
Photo Credit: TQ for Franchise Sports Media

But you know what? None of these guys seem to let it get to them. They still come out and play with every ounce of fight they’ve got. I just wonder how much more fight they’d have if they actually had the support of their city? 

Come on, Vegas! We can do better! I sit on the baseline for every home game and I’ve learned a bit of these guys’ personalities just from watching them so closely. I watch as the bench goes crazy over a dunk. I’ve learned which player is going to foul and then tap his chest as if to say, “My bad.” I see the scrappy one who is just a beast of a player and has something special that you can’t really put your finger on. I know which one is going to cuss when he misses a layup. 

As a mother of four, I can’t help but feel a bit protective and proud of these players who could literally be my own sons. I’ve figuratively taken them all under my wing. I want them to win. I want them to succeed in life. I want them to see the photos and videos we create and to feel like freaking superstars. Because they ARE superstars. Less than 2% of high school athletes play at the D1 level, and these guys — our Rebels — have MADE IT. They deserve our support.

 

Have you been to a game yet? If not, WHY? Can we get behind these guys and see what it does for their morale? Let’s show them that they have our support—win or lose. U-N-L-V, GO, FIGHT, WIN!

 

-Trisha LaCoste – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Trisha on Twitter @Trisha_LaCoste

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