Throwing a flag on Chelsea’s fans

Published 12:13 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chelsea head coach Wade Waldrop said it best when talking about the crowd at Friday’s game against Shelby County.

“The fans were outstanding over there screaming and yelling the whole game. It’s a great atmosphere,” he said.

Unfortunately for Waldrop, he was talking about the Shelby County fans, who outnumbered the home crowd nearly 2-to-1.

There is no excuse for how the community of Chelsea has shied away from supporting its football team this season. Last year, the stands were packed as the Hornets ended a nine-year Shelby County win streak. Just because one team is 8-0 and the other is 3-5, record is no a reason not to show up for what is considered the county’s biggest rivalry.

Earlier last week, I drove through Main Street of Columbiana and saw storefront after storefront painted in red and white.

“Roll Shelby,” “Beat Chelsea,” “Playoff Bound.”

Chelsea shyly put up blue and silver ribbons at businesses. But that was for homecoming one week prior. There was nothing special for the rivalry.

The only thing worse than a fairweather/bandwagon fan is a lukewarm fan. Either come and attempt to be the 12th man by getting behind your team or stay home for the rest of the time that you live in this community. Don’t sit in the middle sulking over a rough season and refusing to show your face for the biggest game of the year.

A player’s mentality can be altered by what surrounds him. If that surrounding is of disbelief by fans, then it can quickly flow into a locker room.

But I believe in redemption and forgiveness. And one way to get that forgiveness by Chelsea players, coaches and the proud student section is to pack out the stand this Thursday.

I had never seen such a poor showing of support until Friday. Frankly, I’d expect a better showing from the city that is “all about family.”

So does Darion Sutton, who downed your team with three touchdowns Friday.

“I don’t know if it was their record or not, but they should have more people than we did.”

Outside the lines is a weekly opinion column.