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Dr. Doug’s FAQs: ASU airtime, fans and complaints

An age-old discussion came up for our Twitter Talk: “Why don’t you cover ____ (insert team here) more often?”

A very respectful ASU fan asked for more Sun Devils coverage. Although I appreciate civil interaction, if you want to affect topic selection on Doug & Wolf, there are three ways to do it:

1) Buy tickets
2) Listen to the games more on radio (increase ratings)
3) Watch the games more on TV (increase ratings)

I have no right to tell you where to spend your money. If you don’t want to go to an ASU game, that’s none of my business. However, your purchasing decisions affect our decisions. The Cardinals sell out. The NFL set a new viewership record over the last weekend. In the Phoenix metro area the TV and radio ratings of Cardinals and NFL broadcast dwarf everything else. Who am I to tell you what you need to hear? You tell me what you want to hear by your actions.

My favorite sport is baseball then college basketball. My best friend in the Valley is the head coach of the Rattlers. If it was up to me, the whole show would be those three topics. In two months I’d be fired. Our show is driven by ratings. Ratings can only be achieved by discussing what matters to the majority of listeners. This is broadcasting and not narrow-casting. We are not a charity. We don’t owe time to different teams under the hope people will start caring. I was prepared to talk a lot more ASU football and the fans spoke their minds by dressing up as 17,000 empty seats for the first week.

Every tweet or e-mail I get on the subject falls into four easy to read categories:

1) Weather
2) Opponent
3) Things to do
4) Pro town

Excuse maker: “Doug, it’s hot.” Doug: “It’s also hot in Alabama with 8,000% humidity and their fans sell-out.”

Excuse maker: “The weather was brutal.” Doug: “And it’s pleasant in Columbus or Madison in November?”

Excuse maker: “They played Sacramento State.” Doug: “When does it become about ASU and not who they play? Ohio State had 103,000 for Buffalo.”

Excuse maker: “These comparisons are stupid because there’s not as much to do in those towns.” Doug: “First off, how do you know? You haven’t been there. Second, let’s look at Auburn. They have 55,000 citizens in Auburn, Alabama, yet they put 90,000 in the stands. In case the math is hard, that means people are coming from towns where there are things to do and they are not doing those other things because Auburn football means more to them than those other things. Tempe has over 175,000 people. What’s really sad about this excuse is it comes from most people that aren’t taking advantage of all the things to around here, they’re just complaining. If two percent of Maricopa County’s citizens went to an ASU game, ASU would be talking stadium expansion instead of reducing capacity. Yes, other schools are raising money to increase capacity while ASU needs to lower capacity. Doesn’t that tell you something?

I’m pretty comfortable guessing that Auburn will draw more fans to their Washington State game than ASU does to past and future Washington State games.”

Excuse maker: “Those other cities don’t compete for the dollar in a major pro sports town like Phoenix.” Doug: “Minus the Cardinals, you’re not going to the pro games either! The argument is still flawed because what about Georgia? Don’t they draw from Atlanta who has another downtown BCS school and 3 major sports franchises? Detroit is bankrupt and has four major sports yet Ann Arbor is full for every home game.

It’s OK that you don’t care as much about college football as other parts of the country. You don’t have to justify yourself to anybody. However, you must accept the fact you are the one putting ASU in a bind to compete. Low fan support makes it tough to recruit the best coaches and players. ASU is 11th in Pac-12 revenue. How does that happen? Is it every athletic director’s fault? Is it the fault of every coach at ASU? How many people are fans going to demand to be fired from the athletic department before fans accept the reality of the situation?

Again, I have no right to blast anyone for not coming to ASU games. In no way am I blasting you if you choose to not go to the games. I have seen ASU fans that are just as devoted to the Devils as the staunchest SEC fan is to their team. There’s just a lot more of the latter than there is of the former.

I’ve said the same thing to Coyotes fans for years. Last year they came out in droves to watch a non-playoff team. We noticed. We talked more Coyotes. Now, we’re the home of the Coyotes.

I’m dying to talk more ASU. Please give me reasons to do it and not excuses. Actions speak much louder than words.