FanSpeak 2/20/05

Sunday, February 20, 2005

In need of a gym

I AM so tired of hearing from people who don't support the bond issue in Jackson to improve the facilities. I was at the Poplar Bluff game, and it was packed. People were squished like sardines in those bleachers. It was very uncomfortable. I think it was a shame people had to arrive 2 to 3 hours early just to get a seat, and some people still didn't get in to watch. Although our team got to play in front of a Jackson crowd, it would have been nice to have enough seats for the other team to bring their fans. I doubt Poplar Bluff will have many seats available for Jackson fans when it comes to the district tournament since we didn't have enough for them. Stop being so hard-headed and think about how our school makes us proud. Let's give them a facility that gives them some pride in their school. To the person who wrote in about the size of the crowd, you should have been watching the game and cheering instead of counting seats.

Team effort

I LIKED your story on Central's win [Freshman sparks Tigers to a 74-60 win over Sikeston, Feb. 12 edition], but it was not "the Freshman" who won the game, it was the varsity squad. Yes, the freshman did a good job, but we won. I just wanted to get that straight.

Disappointed Nerinx fan

A COUPLE of weeks ago, I was in attendance at a game on a Friday night when the Jackson girls basketball team played Nerinx Hall High School. This is the fourth or fifth time in eight years that the teams have played in Jackson's home gym. I question why Nerinx even bothers to travel to Jackson. Every time I have attended one of these games, the visiting team gets "homered" right out of the gym. This last time, Nerinx came from behind and was called for a charging foul which would have brought the game within one point. I will be attending the game next year at Nerinx and will be cheering for the Markers. I realize the Jackson tradition in basketball and how the whole town turns out, but, please, where is the equality.

Impressed with 'Jungle'

I WANT to thank "The Jungle" from Central for showing such enthusiasm for both Redhawks basketball teams -- men and women -- during the Tennessee State games. I wish that spirit would catch on with Southeast students soon. The Jungle's witty antics shows once again that Central has more spirit than Jackson. I hope to see the Jungle again at the Murray game.

Attendance guess

THE JACKSON gym is old and worn out and needs to be replaced but it is silly to claim that it holds only 1,000 or 1,100 or 1,200 or whatever the latest claim is. I was at Jackson's senior night game against Central and also counted 32 full-length rows of bleachers. Maybe Jackson and Southeast Missouri State should get together and average the Jackson understated attendance method with Southeast's overstated attendance method.

Bad sports

I AM calling about the Central and Charleston basketball contest Tuesday night and in particular the Central student section. The Central students took shots at the Charleston students by chanting "We have jobs, yes we do, we have jobs, how about you?" This is terrible sportsmanship. We should expect better from these kids. I, for one, do. Why should we let these students say this about other students? As a Cape Girardeau resident, I am disappointed in the actions of these students, and why were they not quieted after these chants? If it would have been a Jackson section or Notre Dame student section saying these things, we would be filling the speakout sections of every paper this morning. I can't help but think what we would also say if Charleston would have a student section doing the same things; we would call them words that are not printable. We should expect better.

Bring back 'Jungle'

IT WAS nice to see the Central students out in full force at the Show Me Center supporting the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks on Feb. 12. "The Jungle" did a superb job of creating some great atmosphere for college basketball. Unfortunately, the Southeast students were nowhere to be found. It's really quite a shame when the sports marketing department has to invite a high school group to the game to create some atmosphere. It's a huge problem when the Southeast students receive free admission but won't attend the games, even when the teams are winning. One would only hope "The Jungle" returns to the remaining games to cheer the Redhawks onto victory.

Fire the coach?

AFTER FINISHING last season with a 22-5 record, the Jackson boys basketball team enters district play this year with a 22-3 record. Assuming the Indians win their first round game and eventually lose -- like last year -- to Poplar Bluff in the final, will the Jackson school board fire the head coach for basically the same record and outcome of last year's season in which they fired the head coach?

Toy needs investment

EVERYONE SHOULD get off Southeast basketball coach Gary Garner's and football coach Tim Billings' backs. Very few coaches could have done as well as these two with the paltry recruiting budgets they are given. The Southeast Board of Regents remind me of kids and their new Christmas toys. First the move to Division I gets all their attention and funding. They get tired of that, so then it's a new Fine Arts Center. That toy gets old, so it's on to a politically correct nickname. Now that issue is old news, and it's on to a $2.5 million dollar entrance. Meanwhile the basketball program, which used to be the favorite toy, gets the lowest recruiting budget in the OVC. Do you see the pattern?

'Jungle' scholarships

I COULDN'T have been more pleased with Central's spirit group, "The Jungle," at Southeast's basketball games Feb. 12, and I hope they come back. These high school students brought more fun and school spirit to the Show Me Center than I've seen from the university's own students in several years of attending the games. Southeast's students should be ashamed that it's taken a group of students who don't even attend the school to show them what college basketball is all about. I wish the university's administration and student leaders would use the occasion of the recent name change to encourage a similar spirit group on campus. Dr. Dobbins would be wise to give members of "The Jungle" full scholarships to Southeast in the hope they'll bring their school spirit to the college.

It's about time

I JUST wanted to say thanks for actually putting the wrestling article on the Web site today. But really, what's the big deal? It's not like the state championship means anything.

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