It was expected, really.
Mercer had a huge crowd for its first football game in 72 years two weeks ago when the Bears opened the 2013 season against Reinhardt. And the more than 12,000 fans who showed up went home happy after Mercer’s 40-37 win on a late field goal.
Mercer did a terrific job with its opener. There was a buzz around the campus with tailgating and fans preparing for the game that Saturday morning and leading up to the 6 p.m. kickoff.
In the stadium, the fun continued as the school had just about the perfect setup for the opener with plenty of activities to keep the fans’ attention before the game.
It was a wonderful atmosphere, just about all that Mercer could have hoped for as it went through the process of building a football program. From the announcement of the program to hiring Bobby Lamb as the head coach to having the players arrive on campus, Mercer had done a lot of work to get ready for the Aug. 31 game. And it all paid off in a big way.
But the celebration can’t end there.
Mercer’s second game is Saturday against Warner, with another 6 p.m. kickoff, and then there are six more home games this season. Bears fans, and Macon sports fans in general, need to show up in full force again Saturday and for the rest of those home games to support this team.
Lamb has talked about the support the team received for the opener and how much that meant to the players. Imagine what it would mean for those players to charge out of the tunnel Saturday and see another full house at Mercer University Stadium.
Let’s hope that happens and hope that people didn’t just attend the opener for the novelty of the first game. Lamb and the Bears are trying to build something special with their program, and that deserves the fans’ support.
That hasn’t always been the case in Macon in recent years (go to most high school games on Friday nights for evidence of that), and that’s a shame. But with this program and what Mercer is trying to get accomplished, Macon sports fans have another chance to step up and show their support.
That might not be expected, but it would certainly be welcomed.
Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org