When Ford sent his tweet about people waiting to see if we will be successful, these are the people to whom he was referring. I think you are both right.
You know, we need to make some term distinctions here. USF fan, casual USF fan, college football fan. I don't think there are many AAC fans out there so we won't worry about that one.
The reason I say this is as USF fans, I think we are vastly overestimating our fanbase. Of fans like us (spend time everyday hanging on every conjecture, speculation, eventuality and then believing all of it to be true), yes, they will attend the games with the fanatic gusto that we require of people who desire the title USF fan. But I don't think there are that many left. The high water mark for this program seems to have been the 07ish years. That was so long ago that I still had color in my hair. Look at how many posters here are sick of hearing about it and how many weren't even sentient human beings when all of this happened. After thirteen years, we didn't lose only bandwagon friends, but die hard fans whose lives outside of Ray Jay got complicated and a floundering team couldn't be a priority.
Then we have fans of the university, but not big on football. They're good people, too. You can't sue them for that. A winning team might intrigue them.
People who just like to watch good college football? Well, we haven't provided that for a while, so there's potential there. They are good people, too.
My point is, we are all subject to Typical Bias - we believe that we are typical of how people should be (hello, Puc? ) We have found great joy in our Fanpsychosis and can't understand why everyone doesn't rise up to our standards to qualify for the esteemed title of USF fan. That's not how it is. Our fanbase has dwindled to mostly just that hardcore. If we want to attract more numbers we have to stop being boneheads and stop judging who is and who isn't a "real fan". Everyone is invited. Even if you don't stand, even if you can't make every game, even if you like the new uniforms. Even if you wear green on a whiteout day. Even if you leave early. Even if you schedule your wedding during football season. You know - all the other stupid criteria we use to exclude people that we want as fans.
No, we aren't typical at all of the general population of Tampa Bay. And most don't care about our expectations of them. We have to make the product so good that it competes with the general population's lives and becomes a priority.