The Washington Times - October 18, 2008, 06:05PM

Ralph Friedgen is not known for using a terribly large amount of tact in the hour or so after a game.

It’s certainly understandable. But it still makes you wonder at times if he’d be better taking a deep breath and counting to 10.


Such was the case today —- after a 26-0 win over No. 21 Wake Forest —- when he complained about the size of the crowd.

Let me repeat. He complained after a shutout victory over a ranked team.

“I was disappointed with the crowd today,” Friedgen said. “This was the third straight [sic] ranked team we played, and I don’t know what they want from this team. We had a bad game last week. If you’re fans you stick with us, or you don’t. We have to get this place hopping. It has to be a home-field advantage for us.”

Did it look bad that pretty much two sections of the upper deck were empty? Yes. Did the noon start contribute? Probably.

Was the announced crowd of 46,257 smaller than usual? Yes.

But the way to fix that is to repeatedly play well. And if you’re going to lose, well, bother to show up in the process.

It isn’t cheap to take in a game at Byrd Stadium. Well, it might be if you get your tickets on Stubhub. But it makes a lot more sense to pay if you know exactly what you’ll get. There’s never that guarantee in College Park this season.

By the way, here are the 10 smallest crowds at Byrd since Ralph took over in 2001. Today’s game is not in that group:

45,317: Florida International (2006)
44,197: Virginia (2001)
44,098: Wofford (2002)
44,080: North Carolina (2001)
43,528: Duke (2001)
42,105: Eastern Michigan (2001)
41,766: Georgia Tech (2002)
40,166: West Virginia (2001)
39,006: Wake Forest (2002)
38,415: Troy State (2001)

—- Patrick Stevens