Milwaukee drops IUPUI, 74-61 in front of far fewer fans than they deserve

It's hard to give this team any fewer words about the game than they deserve as this game was, for the most part, a decent victory. But this blog has always been a reflection of the fan sentiment surrounding the team.

I was maybe over-optimistic but considering (or maybe because of) a packed Fiserv Arena hosted 17,760 rabid Badger and Golden Eagle fans just one block north, I thought we'd see a crowd close to 3,000 at Panther Arena for the game against IUPUI. Milwaukee after all, has a student enrollment of 23,000+ and is on a (now 5 game) winning streak.


That was the announced attendance last night and you could see it in the food vendors' eyes.

For the benefit of Layman's analysis and maybe some more discussion on figuring out how to get bodies (and voices) out to witness a journey many may want to be a part of and not even realize it yet:

Attendance summary for '05-'06 (NCAA 2nd. rd.), '10-'11 (NIT), '13-'14 (NCAA 1st Rd.), '21-'22 (most recent season)

Sure, there is the argument that people are becoming less socially active and have more entertainment options than ever. Marquette and Wisconsin fans would not understand that excuse. And sure, interest develops over time and we haven't had the kind of success MU and UW have had for decades. But we've got a good product right now- keep watching.

Milwaukee, after all, is within a couple hours' drive for most living Panther alumni*. And alumni have friends and family and other (work friends, clients, groups from one's employer and/or industry, etc.) "force multipliers" in regards to the potential number of fans who might ever interest themselves with the Milwaukee Panthers- especially these Milwaukee Panthers (7-3, 2-0).

This Arena has too much history and too awesome of sightlines to just let sit mostly empty

So yeah, packed rollicking house or yawning barn (last night was the latter variety- the "Insomnia" cookies promotion seemed to have great effectzzzz on the student section) we are 7-3.

There were some rough spots last night but we continued winning. Pullian had 18. Rand grabbed 6 rebounds (as did Johnson) had 5 blocks and a couple dunks that far fewer people appreciated than probably should and could have. Did the winter break start already?

I get it, it is early. But if this team keeps winning, and the university and city don't come out in at least dribs and drabs of droves to support, any success we have this season will evaporate with the promotion of Lundy and transfer of players who want to go to a school and a city who get out to see winners.

The Milwaukee Panthers had exponentially more fans... once upon a time.

A big bright spot was the announcement of a $1M gift from a Milwaukee alum to the Athletic Department. That's great, but seemed a bit jarringly out-of-context amidst the 1,322 attendance.

And I mean none of this as a dig at the Ticket Office (manager recently left for an NFL job). I am more mystified at the bigger picture- where the hell are all of our students, staff, alumni and former general Panther fans? We're advertising and promoting games as far as I can tell. We are WINNING- which is the key ingredient. And seemingly nobody cares. Call it perhaps the rot of the past 6 years of moribund play.

Let's clear all that apathy away like so much brushwood- and then catch an even bigger fire.

In the post-game Coach Lundy discussed how Milwaukee was not as well prepared for the zone defense that IUPUI utilized and that they'd be sure to have that handled in case other teams try to exploit this. 

Let's go get that next win in Chattanooga this Tuesday night.

"Of the more than 195,000 living UWM alumni, nearly three-quarters live in Wisconsin."... 

go panthers
stack good days.