Author Archives: thomasshowlan

The Need for 2500

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re an Aztec fan and you likely have a Twitter account. To be frank, The Show has taken its fair share of hits this year – but to be fair, so has the team. That is no coincidence. As the team has begun to come into their own, winning 5 out of their last 8 games, the 2017 edition of The Show has begun to improve as well. This is one reason why shrinking the size of the student section – as a local beat writer has suggested – is the last thing the SDSU basketball program needs right now.

It’s no secret that The Show does not like Mark Zeigler. What with his propensity for blocking us on Twitter, his tendency to refer to Aztec stalwart “Winston Spencer”, his general negativity toward the program, his dependency on calling out a student section’s creativity instead of writing about basketball, and his downright dismissal of the atmosphere The Show has created at Viejas Arena over the years, it really shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.

Over the last couple of years however, this feud has escalated as Zeigler has waged a misguided war

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The Show gives Zeigler a piece of it’s mind in 2016

in his attempt to shrink the student section as a way of generating more revenue for the athletic department.

Despite what Zeigler and other older fans believe based on what they read in his articles and tweets, it is NOT The Show’s job to get students to come to games…nor has it ever been. That responsibility lies with the team on the court and the athletic department off it. It’s The Show’s job to create an atmosphere that gives SDSU a home court advantage. Instead, home games are now marred by the Aztec Mesa crowd yelling at the front rows of The Show that they aren’t doing enough. They’re telling us, the students who dedicate their time and energy to do whatever they can to help the team, that we need to get more students to come to games (even though we gave out shirts to students just a couple games ago).

Unfortunately, the game against Colorado State on January 28th marked the end of SDSU’s 80-game home sellout streak. Technically yes, the streak ended because the remaining student tickets (the only tickets that are available, as the rest of the arena is season ticket holders) weren’t picked up, but it’s not as if the rest of the arena was full either – a fact Zeigler fails to ever mention. According to Ziegler, donors and season ticket holders get a free pass if they choose to not attend a game, while our students are yelled at, belittled, and reprimanded when they make the same decision.

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Viejas with the Aztecs down single-digits with 1:30 to go against Fresno

Not a single mention – not ONE – about the thousands of empty seats during the loss to Fresno State or the hoards of season ticket holders heading for the exits before the final whistle sounded. Why? Because they pay for their seats? Well guess what: students do too, through fees incorporated into their tuition. Is it too much to ask for season ticket holders and donors to sit through an entire game? Or maybe, if you insist on beating the traffic, not walk to leave the arena directly behind our basket as the team is shooting free throws?

At the time the streak was snapped, SDSU was 3-4 in MW play and coming off a loss to Air Force. Is that an excuse for waning interest and empty seats? Not a chance in hell, but when you compare it to the record through 7 conference games the last few years it begins to make some sense. 2016: 7-0, 2015: 5-2, 2014: 7-0, 2013: 4-3, and 2012: 5-2. Never once in those 5 years was SDSU below .500. In fact, the last time SDSU was under .500 that far into conference play was the 2006-2007 season (an entire decade ago!) when it was still called Cox Arena and student turn outs like those seen this year were very much the norm. As Coach Fisher himself said earlier this year, “Win and they will come.”

Now, Zeigler wants to reduce the size of the Show to 1,500 seats. This would allow the athletic department to sell an additional 500 season tickets, with an additional 500 kept in reserve if the student demand is there or, if not, sold to the public prior to each game. Here’s the problem: this plan that will only serve to degrade the atmosphere at Viejas even further. Not to mention the fact that with prices for the final home game of the year starting as low as $6 on Stubhub, there’s no guarantee the tickets will actually sell anyway and the seats will remain empty. The current supply of tickets just doesn’t meet the demand. Econ 101 would tell you that in that case, you don’t flood the market with even more tickets.

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Zeigler is the actual fake news

Over the years, the improved atmosphere at Viejas Arena has been a result of the hard work of The Show. As Fisher puts it, “It has been generated, as a rule, by our students. They have driven the atmosphere, the vibe, the feel in this arena. It’s been one of the best in the country.” While no one will argue that this year’s Show hasn’t been quite as boisterous as in years past, the answer doesn’t lie in reducing the size of the student section; it lies in trying to find new and more creative ways to get students to games.

The UNLV game saw the release of the 2017 Show shirt and while the crowd as a whole arrived late, by the middle of the first half the student section was mostly full. When SDSU pushed the lead to 15 in the first half, Viejas was as loud as it has been all season. When SDSU got off to an 8-2 lead on Wednesday against Fresno State, the Show was again rocking, despite another late arriving crowd. Finally, when the Aztecs went on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 1 with 7:30 to play, Viejas as a whole was louder than ever. Once again, this arena-wide hype was spurred on by The Show.

Back in the day when The Show was at its most raucous, basketball was THE thing to do on campus. It didn’t matter what day of the week or holiday it was, you had to be at the game and no organization or sorority event was more important. Granted, the team had a better record then – but from ticket pickup to waiting to get the best seats, everything about basketball was an event. Now, tickets are given out at 10 AM, smack dab in the middle of most students’ schedules, and students can only get there an hour before distribution begins. There is no building excitement through camp outs or long lines, no way to get students excited, and no other ways than actual WINS to encourage student attendance.

Clearly, whether it’s returning to the days of multiple giveaways directed at students each season, offering improved arena-wide WiFi, directing social media campaigns at students instead of just the fans who might buy tickets, promising free food at games, hosting more pep rally-like events on campus, something as simple as making the student ticket distribution schedule more prominent/easy to find, or distributing tickets at a time that doesn’t interfere with class, there are ways to generate and improve student interest and even increase attendance in a “down” year. Or, better yet, how about not scheduling one of the largest Greek life events of the year on campus for the same night as one of the final home basketball games of the season?

Making it even more difficult for the 33,778 students currently enrolled at SDSU to experience a basketball game by reducing the amount of tickets available to them is NOT the way to solve this problem. If we want to position future generations of The Show for success, we need to strive to foster student involvement. If this can happen, Viejas will continue to enjoy a home court advantage worthy of a winning program for years to come and The Show will go on.


Montezuma’s Revenge

I am often asked, as a member of the show if I know how lucky I am to be an Aztec right now. Well as a lifelong San Diegan, who has lived through the Leaf and LT eras of the Chargers, the chuck long period of Aztec football, the daily struggle of being a Friar faithful, as well as the rise and fold of my beloved San Diego Gulls, I can safely say this: I know exactly how lucky I am to be an Aztec right now. The question is, do you?

I was in the Pit for our game this year and I can honestly say I’ve never been to a louder sporting event. There was multiple times that my ears were literally ringing after the Lobos made a big play. That hasn’t been the case for a single game at Viejas this year. And many of you think that’s because the Show has taken a step back or is no longer what it once was, but I can tell you without a doubt that that is not true. The real problem is what goes on in the other 9,914 seats.

The atmosphere at Viejas has plateaued, much like the mesa it sits on, not because the Show fails to bring it, but because the other fans have yet to attempt to raise their game to match the intensity we bring to every game, whether we’re playing St. Katherine’s College or New Mexico for a MW championship banner. The atmosphere at the Pit on the other hand is so special because the fans know that in order to have an impact on the game they have to get loud and get loud they do. In Viejas we bring it for a full 40 minutes, while the rest of the arena golf claps until we go on a run or Polee does something insane. Despite this handicap Steve Fisher says the Show can make a difference of 10 points a game. 

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Imagine the impact a full 12,414 would have on a game if they screamed and stood for a full 40 minutes? Now I’m no math major, but it sure as hell would be more than 14 points, which not so coincidentally is the number we lost by in the Pit.

Later today, our Aztecs play for a title. And in all honestly this is the BIGGEST GAME ever played in the majestic halls of Viejas Arena. Yes, it is bigger than the BYU game in 2010-11 because this one is for the whole enchilada, all the marbles, or whatever other corny metaphor you can think of. In fact this is the biggest game in the Mountain West Conference’s regular season history. And in order to make the impact we need to emerge victorious we NEED YOUR HELP. We’re not ashamed to admit it because there is a maximum volume that 2,500 students can produce. If you are lucky enough to join us for the final game of the season against New Mexico, send off our seniors the right way: win or lose, 40 minutes of support for our Aztecs. We haven’t asked you all season, but we are today, GET UP AND GET LOUD, ALL GAME. Show the Lobos real fandom, passion and heart. SHOW them what it means to be an Aztec. Now there’s only one thing left to say, win, win, win cut down nets.

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Today we claim the crown.


With the Show it’s Halloween 24/7/365

Today is special for 2 reasons: it marks 1 week until the first basketball game of the season against our red headed step sister or in this case our blue headed step sister Cal State San Marcos and it also marks 6 days until Halloween. Why am I telling you things you surely already know? Well because people seem to be forgetting that with the Show it’s Halloween all year long.

Since it’s inception the Show has always preached creativity and originality above all else, well expect for maybe fucking BYU. And despite that it seems that every year since the Sweet 16 year two years ago we have seen a gradual decline in costumed Show members. To be honest outside of McGibblets and T-Rex Thames there were not many people consistently in costume all year. This year we’re gonna change that.

Last year it was typical for the Show to be a sea of red and black, like this.

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And there is nothing wrong with that. But it’s time to go back to the crazy, ridiculous, zany, and sometimes downright insane costumes that are a part of what makes the Show so special.

This is just a fraction of what you would see in the Show at a game a couple of years ago.

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Hell, even the media would get in on the action. And that doesn’t even include the most famous Show costume of them all, the Mormon missionary.

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The measure of a great student section is not just how high of decibel level it can reach (and we can reach a pretty damn high one), but how much of a frenzied atmosphere it can create and costumes only add to the atmosphere inside the Madhouse on the Mesa. Viejas Arena is called that for a reason you know. So this year get more bang for your buck with your Halloween costume (especially the sexy ones) and let’s make Viejas a Madhouse again.

See you next week Aztecs. And Fuck Fresno State. OIL CAN!


Make your MARK on ALS

As most of you know by now assistant basketball coach Mark Fisher (son of head coach Steve Fisher) and one of the nicest people you will ever meet, has been diagnosed with ALS otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Here’s the announcement if you want to know more: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/27/sdsu-basketball-mark-fisher-als/.

Show supporter Doug Gottlieb summed up the situation best in this tweet.

ALS is a debilitating disease and as the article linked above notes, “ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder without a known cause or cure. It generally afflicts people between ages 40 and 70, with an average survival rate of three to five years, although the progression of its symptoms can be slower in younger patients.”

Over the years the Fisher family has made an indelible mark on the San Diego State community both on the court and off and now it’s time for us to return the favor.

Join the Show and your fellow Aztecs at the Greater San Diego Walk to Defeat ALS on Sunday October 20 at 7:30 AM in De Anza Cove, Mission Bay. As the website says the 5K walk is “More than just a few-mile trek, the Walk to Defeat ALS® is an opportunity to bring hope to people living with ALS, to raise money for a cure, and to come together for something you care about.”

You can join our team or donate money to help us reach our goal of $12,414, or $1 for every person who can watch the Aztecs in Viejas Arena, here http://webgsd.alsa.org/site/TR?team_id=267773&fr_id=9621&pg=team and the first 20 people who donate $40 or more will receive a free Show snapback, just email your donation confirmation to AztecsFightingALS@gmail.com.

Life isn’t always fair, but we do have the ability to fight and make a difference, not only for Coach Fisher but for the millions of others suffering from ALS. Now it’s time for the Show to leave it’s mark on ALS and we need your help to do it.


Fireball, Football, and Fireworks

Tomorrow marks the glorious return of Aztec football and the annual KGB skySHOW. This means 3 things matter to us tomorrow: Fireball, football, and fireworks.

Now it’s up to you to do your Aztec duty and get down to Qualcomm to get irresponsibly drunk at the first SHOWgate of the year at high noon. Now SHOWgates usually go down like this:


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After all there is no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than getting drunk in a hot parking lot right? RIGHT. We’ve spent all summer working on some brand new stuff to debut at the first football game and let’s just say even an empty Qualcomm was impressed.

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In addition to getting hammered and hurling offensive insults at any one wearing an Eastern Illinois Panthers (real original guys) shirt, the annual skySHOW will take place after the game  and let’s be real the skySHOW makes the fireworks you saw on the 4th of July look like your drunk uncle set them off in your backyard.

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So get down to section B2 of the Qualcomm stadium parking lot tomorrow and ring in the college football new year the only way an Aztec knows how, with fireball, football, and fireworks.