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There’s a positive trend between how successful a team is doing and how enthusiastic its fans are.
With the recent success of the CU basketball team, fan support seems to be at an all-time high. This was illustrated just a few weeks ago when CU’s fan section, the “C-Unit,” was nominated for the 2012 Naismith Student Section of the Year award.
Arizona State's Chris Colvin attempts a free throw on Jan. 19 in front of the C-Unit student section at Coors Event Center in this file photo. The CU fans had crafted signs to distract Sun Devils at the free throw line. (CU Independent File/Annie Rumbles)
I hadn’t attended a basketball game since the very underwhelming 2008-2009 season, but I figured with the team and fans making headlines, I’d jump on the bandwagon.
When I arrived at CU in the fall of 2008, I was entirely underwhelmed by the crowd at the football and basketball games. Everyone just looked drunk and bored. The only cool part was that I got to yell the F-word, something I once attempted in high school but which got me promptly escorted out of the gymnasium.
This season, I hoped to see something different. It had been four years since I had supported a team like I did in high school, but as I pulled on my CU shirt and headed up to my first basketball game in three years, I couldn’t help but hope that I was about to be a part of a raucous, out of control, slightly inebriated crowd once again.
I entered the game just before tip and settled into the student section. I had heard good things about “C-Unit,” and I was ready to jump in head-first.
But wow, what a disappointment.
The only new cheer that I heard was something about not being able to win at altitude and a wholly PG-13 cheer involving pretending you’re on a roller coaster. Apparently these were the things that really got the crowd going. To me all of this was underwhelming, and it didn’t work to make anyone “go insane,” or “create a hostile” playing environment like the C-Unit mission statement had said.
When I think of roller coasters, I think of carnivals, and I’ve always known carnivals to be anything but hostile.
I thought “You can’t win at altitude” was a terrible cheer and that someone needed to stop it. I decided to take things into my own hands. At this point in the game, the referees were blowing their whistles at just about everything. My friends and I tried starting a chant about the ref. It was lewd, in poor taste, and in my mind, perfect for a college basketball game. Plus, it had a syllable count that flowed really well.
But no one took the bait. We were “those idiots.”
But for me, those are the kind of cheers that work. Those are the kind that are fun. It’s fun to single out a player on the opposing team and ridicule him every time he touches the ball. It’s fun to incorporate the F-word creatively in a cheer. It’s fun to come up with something that will get fans to turn on the referees not only on a level pertaining to his officiating skills, but on a moral and personal level as well.
At the end of every event, I want to receive a school-wide urgent student news alert from the athletic director saying he was appalled by the student section’s behavior.
Now I’m not saying we should bare-knuckle box each other, whittle shanks out of dried newspaper, and burn down the stadium — but let’s at least put some creativity into our cheers. Not only is “You can’t win at altitude” unoriginal and un-fun, it almost works to undermine our own team’s ability. It’s saying the opponent’s problem is not the Buffs, but the sparse oxygen count.
We were playing the University of Oregon Ducks. Duck rhymes with more offensive words than I could shake a stick at. I want us to come up with something so off the wall that we can produce a single tear in an opposing player’s eye, and then mercilessly call him a wuss the rest of the game. Creating a hostile environment is about psychology, and if we can make someone cry, I think we’re fulfilling our duty as Buffs fans.
Maybe new, off-the-cuff cheers are difficult to come up with on the spot and in the heat of the game. Maybe I’m wrong in assuming that the student section’s favorite cheer is “F— ‘em up, f— ‘em up, go CU.”
But if I’m right, let’s get our creative juices going and figuratively tear down the house on Thursday against Stanford. Keep in mind that they’re a bunch of pseudo-Ivy League yuppies, which could be the fuel for our C-Unit’s fire.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ryan Sterner at Ryan.email@example.com.
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