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Coach's Weekly Hits: SDSU Football

John Kentera's weekly blog

Coach John Kentera
October 17, 2018 - 9:06 am

Coach John Kentera’s Weekly Hits

Aztec Football Attendance

I have to talk about the San Diego State Aztecs and the constant complaining about attendance at their home games. First off, I want this clearly stated that I am a huge Rocky Long fan for several reasons and I was a fan when he was in New Mexico. During my seven years as the analyst on the Aztecs football broadcasts, I would do an interview for my talk show and the pre-game show leading up to the game that week. Every time I would get done interviewing Rocky he had me fired up! I would tell everyone how much I enjoyed talking with him. One of the reasons I think those interviews went so well was that Rocky had listened to my talk show when he was the assistant at UCLA working with Bob Toledo who is another super person. It was very apparent when I hosted Rocky’s Coach's Show in 2014 and 2015. Rocky is everything you look for in a coach. He has great organizational skills, is a great communicator, holds players accountable, runs a tight ship and builds toughness. The attendance problem has been an issue for a long time. The Aztecs had better attendance back in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. This year's home schedule is not that inviting. Sacramento State drew 45,755 as it was the annual sky show. Arizona State, the best draw on the home schedule, had 34,641. The game started at 7:38 pm and finished at 11:30. The Eastern Michigan game started at 7:35 pm and finished at 11:03 with 30,898 attending. The Air Force game played on a Friday night and started at 6:00 pm. The weather was a factor when lightning occurred and they had to take a delay for over an hour. The announced crowd was 25,326. Half of that crowd was home before the final gun.

San Jose State is winless with a late kickoff time at 7:30 pm; UNLV time TBA, Hawaii time TBA. The marketing of the Aztec football program needs to be evaluated and improved upon. This is not USC or UCLA, and they can’t have the attitude in selling the program like a national power. They need to get their players active in the community. Every available opportunity should be taken to get players and coaches on TV and radio. It is crucial to pick up the phone and call sports directors and producers and make them aware of interesting stories about players in the program. There should be many opportunities without the Chargers in town. Create a buzz about the team because you have a product that has produced over the last decade. I realize TV dictates start times of games and those late starts hurt. Since most of the games are on TV, people will take the easy way out and watch from home. I understand it’s a problem, but you still have to promote the product and keep hustling. The football program has to be a money maker and creativeness is imperative. I grew up in San Diego and lived through the Don Coryell and Claude Gilbert eras, and there was more buzz about the program in those years than I see now.