Fans to blame for apathy at UCSD games

    I’m calling you out. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Mr. (or Ms.) “”there’s nothing fun to do at UCSD”” freshman who sits and chats on A.I.M. to your suitemate less then 20 feet away. I’m talking to all the students here who whine about athletics. I have a message for you: It’s your own damn collective fault.

    Spirit Night is on Jan. 24. (A night that, for one women’s and men’s basketball game, this school pretends to be fired up before receding into the six-college seclusion and isolation that is UCSD.) The sad thing is that most people who go to Spirit Night probably haven’t ever been to a UCSD basketball game and probably won’t ever go to one again.

    None of what I’m about to say is exclusive to Spirit Night. In fact, it shouldn’t be. But here are a few things you can do to make Spirit Night more fun and possibly make going to a game something that will at least cross your mind before you make the decision to stay in your dorm room and read your biology book on a Friday night.

    Do what you need to do to get fired up. Paint your face, throw a pre-game party, get some Thunder-Sticks, whatever. Just come to the game with some energy.

    Cheer the right way. We have a six-college system, and that’s terrific if you’re the UCSD administration. But using Spirit Night as a competition between colleges can get ridiculous.

    When colleges cheer for themselves and pay no attention to what’s going on on the court, the game is almost secondary to the competition. You can’t convince me that that’s right on any level. Have pride in your college if you want to, but have pride in your university and the team on the court who represents that university first.

    For those leaders of pro-college chants — save them for halftime and maybe timeouts. The rest of the time (i.e. during the game), let’s cheer for what’s going on on the court. You’re all great when it comes to getting people to scream “”TMC!”” or “”ERC!””, but other chants or cheers may be more effective.

    There also isn’t enough heckling going on. Maybe we’re all just too nice, but there have got to be a few solid hecklers at this school who can sit behind the visitors’ bench or on the sidelines and get in somebody’s head. If you’re not sure about how much you want to heckle, find a group of them (they always sit in groups) and join up. This way you have support. Let’s make coming to play against UCSD the opposite of fun for the opposing team.

    Having people there makes a difference: For those of us who go to basketball games regularly, this is clear. Having people at these games matters. I’m not saying that if you show up, UCSD will win for sure. But in a close game, a loud crowd could influence a free-throw, frustrate an opposing player or give our team that little bit more energy to pull the game out.

    I’m not naive, and I don’t expect as many people as on Spirit Night to start coming out to all the rest of the games. But wouldn’t it be nice if, on Jan. 25 (the day after Spirit Night), the UCSD student body in attendance outnumbered the UC Davis band and actually made it feel like a UCSD home game?

    Last week, a group of people at this very paper stood in shock as I explained that yes, we do have a fight song at this school. They were shocked and blamed others for the fact that they didn’t know it. I got to thinking, “”Why haven’t they ever heard it?”” Oh yeah, it’s because they’ve never been to a game.

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