It's a Small World After All: The NCAA's Smallest Fanbase...and I'm Part of It

James PenaContributor IJuly 10, 2008

It's a Small World After All is a blog posted every Friday about what being a fan at an NCAA Division III school means.  Comments about how to improve it are definitely welcome.

When you grow up in Texas, you're taught from birth that college sports are king, especially when it comes to big schools.

So when a high school student decides, for whatever reason, that he or she wants to attend a four-year school that plays in Division III (Division II is not included for the simple fact that Abilene Christian is in the top five all-time in number of national titles in all sports in any division), or maybe even the NAIA, they soon come to realize a few things.

The major realization is that their school of choice is probably not known nationally, regionally, or even state-wide.

As I begin to look towards the start of my college life at ETBU, sports reality is beginning to set in.  I can't really show the full extent of my fandom outside of Marshall.  Finding Letourneau University fans to harass is a lot harder than trying to find Texas or Texas A&M fans.

My school will never be featured on ESPN, ESPN 2, or ESPNUCome to think of it, there won't be any TV coverage at all.  I can't argue for or against paying student-athletes because my classmates can't even get a scholarship for sports to begin with.

As a Mass Communications student, I feel like I have one of two options.  I can complain and mope on here like an emo who just got stood up at a Hawthorne Heights concert—or I can do something about it.

Though few will care about anything I talk about on here, all it takes is one person to turn people on to what most ignore—and believe me, if there's anything that's easy to ignore, it's definitely Division III sports.

If you are an alumni of a D-III school, then maybe you'll want to see if I can capture the essence of what it's like to be one of only a few thousand fans at a game.  If you went to a D-I school, then you probably think all D-III schools and players suck.  Read and learn.