Falcons fans band together on Facebook
March 23, 2007
Junior Steve Baisden attended 20 men’s hockey games out of the 29 this season. Baisden decided to take his love for hockey one step further when he created the Facebook group “Falcon Fans Unite Join the Flock.”
Baisden said the group was created to help spread the word involving the UW-River Falls men’s hockey team and to encourage students to attend playoff games.
“It was intended to inform others of the success of the team, for students to come support that success and to cheer the team on,” he said.
Baisden said he was thrilled at the success of the Falcons this season.
“In my opinion, their season was on the line and they pulled through,” he said. “They were the hottest team going into the playoffs.”
Baisden said he thinks the Facebook group allows fans to express what they have to say and show support for the team.
“Not everyone has had the experience to cheer for a team that is so closely related to them,” he said. “This group has brought those people together to cheer their team on.”
Senior Kyle Cooper works at Hunt Arena as a sound engineer and has been able to attend all of the home games.
Cooper said he thinks the Facebook group was a big help for UWRF hockey fans.
“Before, there was no way for fans to communicate ideas for games, such as chants and pre-game tailgates,” Cooper said. “Now with this group, people can plan stuff out for games and communicate freely.”
Cooper said he thinks the group is a great way to attract more people to the already growing fan base for hockey at the University.
Baisden said he heard hockey fans talking about the Facebook group at the Feb. 24 game against St. Scholastica.
Baisden said his goal was to get 300 members in the group before the playoff game had started.
“Once some students joined, many of them invited other friends to join,” he said. “Ultimately, it became a chain reaction and by game time, 322 people had joined.”
Cooper said he thinks Facebook must be powerful if the group had over 300 members in a matter of days.
Unfortunately for Falcons fans, the UWRF men’s hockey team lost to the St. Scholastica Saints by a score of 2-1.
Junior Nick Marty, who is also a member of the Facebook group, said he thinks the hockey team had a great season.
“We had a tough loss in the end, but they have given us plenty to cheer about,” Marty said. “I am proud to be a Falcon fan.”
Junior Sam Blank is also a member of the group. He said the group keeps fans updated with the team.
“If you don’t read the paper and don’t know when the Falcons play, this is a site that hundreds of students go to every day,” Blank said. “Just by looking at the updates on this group, I found out when they play and who they play.”
Blank said he believed the team was going to do very well in the NCAA tournament.
“If I don’t attend the game one night, I will be sure to check the group the next morning and see if they have won,” Blank said.
The UWRF men’s hockey team ended its season with a loss of 2-1 against Bethel University on March 7.
UWRF men’s hockey coach Steve Freeman said he appreciates all the fan support during the season.
“It has been a special year,” Freeman said. “I want to thank everyone involved because we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Freeman said he had not heard of the Facebook group previously, but knows the fans are an important piece of the program.
“With more fans involved, it becomes more than a game it becomes an event,” he said.
Freeman said the support from the fans means a lot to the players and coaches of the team.