"The Dudes is a new student based organization that we are trying to create at Dudy Noble Field which is sometimes called the Dude. They will have chairback seating in the grandstand. It will start this year and we hope it will continue to grow from year to year.
"We have tremendous support in the outfield from a lot of our students but a large number of our students haven't had the opportunity to sit in the grandstand seats, especially during SEC weekends. One of our goals is to allow them that opportunity in the grandstand. They will have their own section where they can interact with other students and enjoy a game at Dudy Noble Field."
Students are normally a little more vocal then your normal fan. Is that something you are trying to get started in the grandstand?
"Absolutely. Students have a lot of energy and they can help enhance the atmosphere due to that energy. And some of their antics can be quite entertaining. Our players can feed off of that energy.
"Sometimes, we go on the road in the SEC and that is the kind of atmosphere you deal with behind home plate. There is sometimes a lot of noise and a hostile environment. Our outfield area is already like that but we also want our grandstand area to be like that as well. We want to create that with our own student organization, The Dudes."
When will The Dudes first meeting be?
"It will be Tuesday, February the 7th at 6 pm in the Palmeiro Center. It will be a great opportunity for those students who have never been in the Palmeiro Center to come to the meeting and see it first-hand. They'll also get to meet our players and coaches and hear Coach Cohen speak about The Dudes organization. He'll talk about the finer points of the organization.
"We'll have free t-shirts and other free goodies for the students. All they have to do is sign-in on the roster and provide us with a few other things about themselves so we can have a record of who are members of The Dudes. We will invite them to wear their t-shirts to the games. The t-shirts we will provide them are nicer than what you normally see from a student based group. These jerseys are duplicates of our game jerseys. It will have the number 12 on it, symbolic of it being 2012. And the player name on it will say The Dudes. It is going to be a really, really nice shirt."
How many do you hope to have in the organization the first season?
"The goal is 500. If we can have that many join and make noise during the game, they will become like a 10th man for us by creating great atmosphere for us, allowing our players to feed off of them. It can definitely be a home field advantage for us if we can start out with 500. The more the merrier. We want guys and girls to be a part of this. We want any of the 21,000 MSU students to be a part of this.
"One thing I think is MSU football has done a great job of creating a great atmosphere with the help of the students. We would like to channel some of that here at Dudy Noble Field."
Will there be rewards for those students who come to a lot of the games?
"It will be incentive based. We will have a way of keeping track of who comes to games. Once a student reaches a certain number of games, they will be given a free gift. If a student comes to all of the home games there will be a very special gift for doing that.
"Coach Cohen will talk about that special gift as well as all the other fine points of the organization during the open meeting next Tuesday night at the Palmeiro Center.
"We are really trying to get the word out about the organization and the upcoming meeting. Whatever students read this, I hope they will tell other students about the meeting because we want as many of the students there as possible.
"We have the largest stadium in all of college baseball. Now, with the students help, we want to make the atmosphere at our stadium be the wildest in all of college baseball."