Love of the Game

Texas Love For Football Reflected in Attendance Statistics

January 19, 2018

As AT&T Stadium slowly fills up as people come to watch the best teams in Texas go toe-to-toe in championship games. It’s no secret the state of Texas loves football. Texans love football the same way Kanye West loves Kanye West, and the same way Mr. Krabs loves money.

During the state championship week (Dec. 20th-Dec. 23rd, 2016) at AT&T Stadium, a total of 245,918 showed up throughout the weekend to watch their teams compete. Compared to other states, Texas has the most turnout at their football games. Some people may say that Texas football is better than other states, and that’s why an abundance of people come to the games. In the 2016 season, Texas teams were 44-27 against Non-UIL opponents (teams in other states). The only other states even close to having as much love for the sport, California and Florida.

Although those numbers are from 2013, they remain relevant today. The highest attendance at a football game for the state of Florida and California listed above fall short to Texas. In fact, the number on the top of this list was higher than the Los Angeles Rams season opener. According to Outside Linebacker Coach Rod Nutley, the reason behind Texas’ impressive turnout at ballgames simply relies on Texas’ population.

There are some great players from Oklahoma, but there aren’t nearly as many and as concentrated as in Texas.”

— Coach Nutley

“The biggest differences are based on the population of the states and number of kids playing. Because the population is so much bigger in Texas, you have much greater participation,” Coach Nutley said.

Another fact that backs up Texas football superiority; the number of players in the NFL from Texas. Texas ranks third on the list only behind Florida and California. Legacy itself has three players currently on NFL teams. Not only does the Lone Star State host popular football games, it also produces professional athletes.

“As a result of Texas’s population, the number of highly talented players is more concentrated. There are some great players from Oklahoma, but there aren’t nearly as many and as concentrated as in Texas,” Coach Nutley said.

Before coming to Texas, Coach Nutley coached in Oklahoma at Weatherford and Chickasha. However, Oklahoma and a handful of other states don’t follow the same guidelines as Texas football.

“A coach in Texas must be a certified and college-degreed teacher that works for the school district. In Oklahoma, you can have an outside occupation and be a coach for the team. Texas is heavily regulated by the UIL and plays by NCAA rules, and Oklahoma, along with most other states, plays by federation rules,” Coach Nutley said.

Another thing that makes Texas football big would be the revenue. In fact, Legacy High School’s football team raised $39,000 in forty-five minutes because of a telethon. Mckinney ISD spent $63 million dollars on their brand new stadium, and Allen ISD opened their brand new $60 million dollar stadium to the public. Legacy’s new Defensive Line Coach, Mr. Joseph Martin, came to coach from Oregon to Texas.

“I would say football is more popular here in Texas,” Coach Martin said. “One of the major indicators would be the size of the football stadiums. At all the schools in my district in Oregon, the stadiums were no bigger than our field here on campus at Legacy where we hold only sub-varsity games. In Oregon and most other states, the thought of building a stadium only for football is unthinkable.”

Texas has the second highest population in America. More people means more fans, so maybe if Oklahoma, Oregon or any state had a stronger population, football would be just as popular there as here in Texas. Until then, Texas will still be known as a state that loves the game.

“Football is heavily woven into the fabric of the state and people,” Coach Nutley said. “As a native Okie that coached and played in Oklahoma, I believe the popularity is very similar in both states. More people live in Texas, so it just has a greater turnout.”

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