I write this from the desk in my hotel room at the Chicago Marriott.
We first flew from SLC to Atlanta this afternoon. While waiting for our connecting flight to Chicago (O'Hare) Matt and I encountered our first ND fans. After talking to us for a few minutes they offered to sell us four tickets to the game--at face value. Considering that tickets are being sold for upwards of $200 per ticket on eBay, I thought that was rather generous. It was interesting getting their perspecitve on their game last week against SC. They sounded like some of the anti-SC comments attached to my last Top 10. Which reminds me of a caveat I left out of last week's Top 10--my loyalty to USC comes with some degree of legitimacy (a not so subtle swipe at the fair-weather fans). My grandfather, aunt, and uncle all graduated from USC dental school--which also explains #6 in the same Top 10.
After attending the BYU football game last week and seeing the way BYU fans cheer at games, I wished I had the chance to give a forum address about how to cheer at football games. Since it is highly unlikely that I will ever address a group gathered for a BYU devotional I figured I would create a post with a few of those thoughts.
1. Loud on defense, quiet on offense.
I place part of the blame for this on the cheerleaders. Why they insist on starting noisy cheers when Beck is trying to audible at the line of scrimmage is beyond me. Perhaps someone should instruct them in the finer points of football--when we have the ball, be quiet.
2. Please, for the love of Cosmo, don't do that dumb running-man cheer.
Still wondering what cheer I'm referring to? The drum inspired, Star Wars themed cheer, which calls for students to alternately raise their arms in a sort of running motion (think Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber).
What is that? Is it meant to intimidate the other team? The FSU tomahawk chop I can understand--this one defies all comprehension.
I hereby call for a universal boycott of this inane cheer. Please pass the word to your fellow sheep--excuse me--byu fans.
3. A few thoughts on "booing" your own players:
Generally, I am against booing your own team. For the most part, players and coaches work hard, dedicate countless hours and expend untold blood sweat and tears preparing for and playing football. When they give their best, regardless of outcome, we should reciprocate by being good fans.
The only exception to this rule would be if a player was not giving their best effort--and even then it is not always justified. Allow me illustrate this with an example. Probably the biggest target for BYU football fan disgust this year has been CB Nate Soelberg. This track speedster turned defensive back is often criticized for his poor coverage skills and inability to tackle. What is often ignored is the fact that he has been playing with a broken hand. How difficult must it be to tackle with one hand in a cast? In the last game Soelberg broke his other hand. Some ignorant fans, thinking he was "wimping out" or perhaps taking a play off started to yell obscenities and suggested that their grandmothers could perform better. What they didn't know (at least not then) was that he had just broken his other hand, effectively ending his season. Too many times too little is known to merit antagonizing our own team. Direct your frustration and aggression to more noble pursuits--like playing countless hours of Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas.
I wish Tom Holmoe, BYU AD would read this next one...
Why don't we have open seating in the student section? Look to BYU basketball as an example. Aside from the fact that student seating in the Marriott center is limited, they did get one thing right, they allow the most rabid fans to get the best seats. The result is that the loudest BYU fans get seats closest to the court where they can do the most damage--needling opposing players and cheering loudly thoughout the game. With the rotating seats of Lavell Edwards Stadium, loud fans are dispersed throughout the stadium with many seats close the field often occupied by indifferent, fair-weather fans--if, indeed, they are occupied at all.