Following is a Q&A with an anon contributor to The PanAmmunition, NMSU's student formed content regarding the Aggies men's basketball team.
JG: Like I said before, I think it’s a good idea to get the students more involved in home games. I guess my first question is how did your group form and why? Was there a group of students who were disappointed with the participation in home games?
We started after a tough loss on the road. We were watching the game on TV and the loss just hit us hard. We sat there soaking it all in and just started brainstorming how we could improve things for when this team played us at home. Writing ideas on a napkin slowly evolved into writing ideas down on how to improve home games in general. We committed and we went for it. One of the biggest motivators was our desire to bring back the traditions pride of our already historic program. We want to start some traditions of our own but our real goal is to bring the fanbase back to where it was in the early ‘90’s with the true “Panamaniacs.” Other schools don’t have a history as rich as ours and that’s why it was so easy to get rolling. The alumni and students were just waiting for some one to step up.
JG:What was the first game? I believe it was Idaho but I could be mistaken.
The first game was Boise State. Since then we’ve had four.
JG: How many students are involved?
There are two main writers but we have an individual helping with design and also two “guest” writers who give us contributions at times. We’ve come to form a really great team. What’s really neat is that we’re not all even in the same city and some of us have yet to meet in-person.
JG:Would you say there was a lack of student interest in games?
Absolutely. I would say the problem is mostly due to ignorance. We have such a talented team, one of the best we have had in years and a huge majority of the student body just has no clue. We owe it to the hard work of the players to get the word out and get the attendance up again. To bring these students our, we’re really trying to improve the whole game experience and show them how fun cheering on your team can be. The team has done their part and excelled on the court despite the low attendance, we really want to see how far things could go for the Aggies if they had their entire student body behind them.
JG: How do you go about gathering the information on opposing teams and players? How involved is it?
We don’t want to give away our tactics but it’s very involved. We’ve established a system that we have to start a few weeks in advance. We really take pride in this part of our issues though. We figure that if we can find something that gets under an opponent's skin and get them flustered emotionally, then we can really affect the game.
JG:Utah State and other schools have had similar publications....do you model yours off of any particular schools?
Our first issue was modeled after Utah State’s “The Refraction.” Since then we like to think that we’ve come a long way both in appearance and content. We’ve become something more than just a publication as well. We’ve formed a club of sorts comprised of our fans. We’ve really utilized our resources well in order to make it easier on us and also to get the community involved so that they really feel like their part of our publication.
JG:What has been the reaction from the university if at all?
We’re still getting the word out, but the university as a whole has been very receptive and supportive. Within 48 hours of making our Facebook page, the University’s marketing team had reached out to us and has been very helpful. We’ve formed a great relationship with the athletic department all the way up to Dr. Boston. The students really enjoy reading us and a number of alumni have contributed monetarily. We recently set up a paypal account to help funding, not only the publication, but marketing and other materials we need for game days, and the response from that has been outstanding. The community has been so generous and the support has been so helpful. We love to know that people have our back and we love how excited people are to see changes at the Pan Am.
JG: Is there something special in store for the last home stand of the season?
Yes. Look for old traditions being brought back to life these last two games. The common fan doesn’t realize how heated these two rivalries are (especially the Utah State one). We’ve had these two circled on the calendar since our first issue. Everyone’s just going to have to head out to the Pan American Center to see what we have in store!
JG:Anything else we should know??
We’re accepting donations to help with our cause and you can find a fundraising letter on our Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-PanAmmunition/189238921094403?sk=app_4949752878
You can also follow us on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/#!/PanAmmunition
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