San Diego State football doesn’t often use fan giveaways as a marketing tool. I have a replica Kirk Morrison jersey somewhere and think I got a hat once or twice. If anything, it’s usually some garbage like a poster, magnet or key fob.
So it comes as no surprise that this year’s promotional schedule continues the tradition. There’s not a single thing listed as a giveaway, just a bunch of military appreciation nights, teacher recognition awards and whatnot. We would like to think that with some creativity, passion and a bit more cash, Aztec football’s promotional events could actually be a draw.
Here’s the 2018 promo schedule as it is, and maybe how it could be.
Saturday, Sept. 8 vs. Sacramento State, 6 p.m.
SDSU Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day
SDSU Student Tailgate
U.S. Army Recognition
SDSU’s home opener comes eight days after the season opener at Stanford. If Rocky’s powerhouse Aztecs find a way to shock the Cardinal for the second year in a row (opening line: Stanford -14.5) this becomes a much bigger game. … Whatever the official SDSU Student Tailgate is, it won’t be one-tenth as lit as informal student tailgates. … It’s a little rude they tuck Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day into the home opener; I mean the fall term just started, how can you even appreciate them yet.
What they should do: Nothing. The home opener is already a big deal and SkyShow never fails to pack the Concrete Tombstone full of normies who love fireworks. … Actually, do one thing: Ditch the “One City, One Team” slogan after this season. We all know the NFL team left town. Two years of having it rubbed in our noses is enough.
Saturday, Sept. 15 vs. Arizona State, 7:30 p.m.
First Responders Appreciation Day
U.S. Marine Corps Recognition
Blackout! Blackout means fans should wear black, as contrast, since both schools have red and black in their color schemes. You do not have to get black-out drunk. … This is the one marquee opponent on the Aztecs’ home schedule even though that “big name” is only ASU. … Marines and First Responders get their turn to stand up and be clapped at, presumably not at the same time.
What they should do: Black SDSU t-shirts and black rally towels for the first 35,000 fans. Aztecs wear alternate blackout uniforms: Red helmets, all-black jersey and pants, red numbers and red socks.
San Diego State rolls out the same home/away uni set every year with no alternates and is behind the times in doing so. Multiple uniform sets cost money the program doesn’t have? Pshaw, figure it out Wick! Go thee to Beaverton, Oregon on bended knee and ask — nay, beg — Nike to make the Aztecs their next multi-alternate uniform project. Kids and recruits love dramatic, cool-looking uniforms. SDSU can retain its distinctive identity in lots of different permutations.
Saturday, Sept. 22 vs. Eastern Michigan, 7:30 p.m.
SDSU Family Weekend
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
Extra Yard for Teachers
High School Band Night
Family weekend! Mom and dad can come witness the debauchery they’re paying for and potentially a season-crippling loss to a garbage MAC opponent. It’s the third home game in three weeks, so if the Aztecs aren’t at least 3-1 after that they’re pretty well screwed for getting ranked. … Hispanic Heritage Month is cool, high school bands are annoying. … Extra Yard for Teachers is a College Football Playoff Foundation program that is as close as the Aztecs will get to the Playoff until they expand the stupid thing. “Extra yard for teachers” yeah whatever, don’t we coddle these people enough already?
What they should do: Rocky Giant Fathead Giveaway.
First 25,000 fans get a Rocky Long giant posterboard face to wave around and terrify the [checks notes] Eagles. Students can cover their seating sections in a hypnotic sea of undulating Rockys. They’re not watching the game anyway!
Friday, Oct. 12 vs. Air Force, 6 p.m.
Hall of Fame
U.S. Air Force Recognition
After a bye week and a game on Boise’s asinine blue turf the Aztecs return home to play AF on a Friday night at 6 p.m. Super convenient. … Some former Aztecs will be recognized for their induction into the Aztec Hall of Fame, a thing that exists. … Also recognized will be the Air Force, a military branch with a storied history of flying planes very fast and
advancing imperialism saving the world. Keep in mind that Air Force ball teams do that Stand and Stare Blankly But Solemnly While Listening to the School Song After the Game thing so be respectful and try not to heckle them when they do that.
What they should do: Not play the game on a Friday.
Saturday, Oct. 20 vs. San José State, 7:30 p.m.
Fleet Week Classic
U.S. Navy Recognition
Ah yes. Joyous, halcyon homecoming, when alumnae migrate back to town like the swallows to Capistrano, donning scarlet and black to sing old alma mater while our footballers crush their overmatched opponent. Do you know the lost third verse of Hail, Montezuma old boy? Come and hum a few bars with me. These are things people actually say at homecoming. … This game is a “Redout” and that is not a word. Wear red if you like but do NOT paint your face red. … SDSU’s fifth home game in the first seven games. … The Navy gets its turn to be recognized during Fleet Week, a reminder of the fleeting weeks in another year slipping through your fingers.
What they should do: Wear classic ’60s-’70s Coryell-era throwbacks to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the undefeated 1968 Aztecs.
The ’68 Aztecs won their third straight College Division national championship in SDSU’s last year in Division II, playing as an independent at the year-old San Diego Stadium. On October 26, 1968, San Diego State crushed San José State 48-6 in a fog so dense many fans left the game early because they couldn’t see it.
Saturday, Nov. 10 vs. UNLV
Veterans Appreciation Day
U.S. Coast Guard Recognition
Just in case the previous four military appreciation days weren’t sufficient, here now comes Veterans Appreciation Day and Coast Guard Recognition Night, the Coast Guard being the fifth and always-last branch of the military. … Among all the military appreciating, why not throw in a little cheer/dance clinic? Something for the kids. … UNLV game follows two straight road games at Nevada and New Mexico. Kickoff time is TBD until ESPN deigns to determine when the football playing can start.
What they should do: Travel pillows and nightcaps for the first 20,000 fans.
TV could decide to kick this one off as late as 8 p.m. so fans may wish to grab a few winks at halftime, i.e. when the student section clears out.
Saturday, Nov. 24 vs. Hawai’i
Fan Appreciation Day
The last regular-season home game of the year is always Senior Day for obvious reasons. But! if this year’s Aztecs do what we think and hope they’ll do, it won’t be those seniors’ last game on home soil. The MWC Championship Game is December 1. Keep the date open. … My seat number has never been called during a Fan Appreciation Day in any ballpark, in any sport, therefore I conclude that Fan Appreciation Days are bullshit, nobody wins and it’s all a scam. … If you still need a guard/twirlers clinic in 2018, at this dark hour of late capitalism, how committed to guard/twirling have you really been? Wake up, sheeple.
What they should do: Indigenous Peoples Day. Clandestine Services Recognition. First 20,000 fans get a Ronley Lakalaka bobblehead doll.
Every game between the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors and San Diego State Aztecs should be Indigenous Peoples Day by default. These are stolen lands. Recognize and respect the people who lived here for thousands of years. … And with no military branches left to recognize, it’s past time for SDSU football to honor the contributions of the Deep State. Everyone shares a good laugh when the P.A. announcer asks for veterans of the Clandestine Services to rise for a round of applause but nobody stands up. … Aztecs linebacker Ronley Saumaniafaese Lealao Lakalaka obviously should have a bobblehead in his honor on Senior Day against his hometown school. The doll will wear a lei and include his full name.
Ultimately, the best promotion is a great football program. We have that! Bring your bad selves and your friends to STADIUM this fall to enjoy it.