I just read today's Swami asks for support and would like to suggest an answer to your question "So where were they (the community) when their team was down and out? Nowhere to be found."
Maybe those community members made a weekly habit of studying the Expert Picks. They most likely ask themselves why attend a game if The Alpena News' expert writers unanimously predicted that their team going to lose?
I feel that the entire concept of Expert Picks is wrong. The column is nothing more than an office football pool. Instead of betting with money you and your cohorts statistically display your prediction prowess.
So I suggest that Expert Picks substitute using local high school athletic teams with college and professional teams. Please remember that these athletes are our communities' children in need of our total community support because, as they say, it takes a village to raise a child.