COLUMN: Fans make everything better


John Carroll Sports Information Department

The sideline and stands of John Carroll’s first football game back against Washington and Jefferson on Sept. 4, 2021.

Anna Meyer, Sports Editor

Finally, sports are back to normal… for now, at least. 

Anyone who watches, plays or works in sports most likely dreaded the last year and a half at some point because of the impact COVID-19 restrictions had on sports. 

For months, professional and college sporting events didn’t allow fans or only allowed a limited number of guests, including John Carroll University. 

Thankfully for the athletes at JCU, they were able to play in the spring semester, but things felt different. No outside spectators or fans were allowed, and most teams couldn’t play past the conference tournament, losing months of hard work and effort as they were unable to perform at the national level in the NCAA Tournament. 

Looking back on the countless games I worked on for the John Carroll Sports Information Department, something was missing — the fans. 

The Blue Streak’s teams did exceptionally well, considering all of the precautions taken, but the outside world couldn’t watch all that was achieved on the court and field in-person.

In Spring 2021, I had the opportunity to broadcast the OAC Championship Final for JCU’s Women’s Basketball team. During the game, I thought of how, if this were a typical year, the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center would be filled to the brim with students storming the court after they won.

That is exactly what it looked like in 2019 when the Blue Streaks Women’s Basketball squad won their first-ever OAC Championship title. Clearly, the 2021 atmosphere was very different. The cardboard cutout fans couldn’t replace the real spectators. 

Thankfully, we no longer have to imagine a stadium filled with fans. 

Over the past few weeks, the Blue Streaks have welcomed back a packed capacity crowd for the first time in over a  year and a half. 

As I worked the John Carroll University vs. Washington & Jefferson football game on Saturday, Sept. 4, seeing how many fans were in attendance felt odd, but finally, I found a sense of normalcy.