As Boise State athletics continue to attack the future with increasing vigor, I think it’s time we had a primer for basketball fans who are looking to step their own game up. Here I’ve compiled three keys and some miscellaneous ideas to make the Taco Bell Arena a place that players and coaches will be scared to visit. Let's spice up the Taco!
1.Wear your pride on your sleeve.
I don’t want to see more people in orange at the Boise WinCo than I do looking out from the student section. It’s great that your team is going to the superbowl, but what brings us together at the TBA is our support for Boise State. You don’t need an off-colored snapback or parka in the arena, because there is no sun glare and no inclement weather… I’m looking at you, Kenny Buckner. I know you’ve got plenty of BSU gear! Boise State color combos have been the stuff of legend in football, let’s make sure we’re the best dressed in basketball too!
2. Expect Loud. Respect Loud.
You’ll find that mantra in green on the back of nearly every T-Shirt in the Izzone, and it especially applies to students. If you want peace and quiet while you watch the game, the arena shouldn’t be the place for that. There is no reason why an able-bodied student or fan needs to sit or keep quiet within view of the media, much less try to shame others into sitting to help their view. There are plenty of seats up top if that’s what you’re going for. The USU Hurd has a very strict noise policy at the Rect- er, I mean, Spectrum. If you’re not being loud or participating in group chants, you get relocated. If you notice a neighbor needs a little cajoling, don’t be afraid to help them out with some positive peer pressure- set them free from social stigma! Let them know that it’s time to get loud. If you hear the Corral making noise for our guys on defense, follow their lead- you’ll help get some noise started in your section and you’ll look true blue, which is flattering on every figure.
3. Do Your Homework
This goes for the Corral more than everyone else, but one of the marks of a truly great and organized basketball crowd is the amount of research that goes into each orchestrated display of fandom. The Hurd has already gotten background info on our guys and has a game plan ready for Feb 8. They have chants poking fun at everything from Drmic’s awesome hair and nationality to the extreme confidence and self assurance that allows Ryan Watkins to tweet about Pokemon. Beyond this just being fun for the crowd, it actually has a profound effect on a player’s functionality in a game. Consider last week when we hosted Utah State. The more our students directed noise at Jarred Shaw, the more irate and emotional he became- and his play suffered. By halftime, Utah State’s star player had already yelled at a ref and swore at someone who told him he sucked. Shaw walked out of the Taco that day with two middle fingers flying high and another road loss.
Imagine if we had led an organized auditory and visual assault on Wyoming! Certainly we could have cost Nance at least 2 points, or earned a couple extra free throw opportunities for our guys. There are a million different cadences and clap rhythms we can apply to words like "BSU, Boise, Defense, Broncos" but at the end of the day it’s just background noise. University of Utah football fans will NEVER forget the time Bronco Nation roared "WHOSE HOUSE? OUR HOUSE!" as they were handed a loss at home. Yelling that someone sucks or the general "Go BSU" stuff will never be as galling as a well-coordinated crowd chant. The 6th man is a role that several schools in the Mountain West take very seriously, BECAUSE IT WORKS. Let’s not deny our team that same privilege, okay?
For extra credit, I’ve got some ideas to get your fan juices flowing. Feel free to leave your own contributions in the comments, and I look forward to seeing YOU in the stands!
-John Brown University is famous for having "the best technical foul in sports." It’s a tradition that gets their fans excited and helps toilet paper companies thrive.
Obviously the TP thing has been done, but what if we all brought a balloon, Ziploc bag, or paper bag in our pockets to inflate when an opponent is going to the line? Then, right as they lift their arm up to take that shot, the defeaning sound of hundreds of pops throws them off. It *could* get called as a technical, but it might not. And either way, you know they’ll be a little tentative the next time they set up their shot. Since when does knowing something might pop make you cringe any less at the thought of it? Besides, it only has to work once.
-I think it would be hilarious if someone from the Corral knew how to do rope tricks with a lasso. Most players have seen a fathead, but imagine getting up to do a free throw, then all the students sit down and somebody in a crazy BSU outfit stands up and starts doing tricks. We’d have our own improved version of Wild Bill. We could even kick it up a notch with someone hitting coconut halves together to keep a beat a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
-The Kansas Jayhawks have one of the wussiest fight songs known to man, but EVERY single fan sings it, with hand motions to match. They call out "Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU" afterwards. It makes no sense to anyone from the outside, but it’s done with such conviction that no one in attendance can help but get goosebumps. Boise State’s fight song is practically platinum in comparison to what some fans have to sing every week, so I can’t imagine how energizing it would be if fans knew and chanted out the lyrics. I’ve sent a few emails and tweets about it, and I hear that BSU is considering getting the fight song up on the jumbotron for football and basketball soon. No need to wait for that, though. Get a jump on it and learn the fight song today! I think the students are tired of hearing my family’s voice-cracking rendition. Drown us out, Broncos!
That’s only the beginning of the myriad crackpot ideas I have as a fan (think building a Trojan Bronco for away games) but I want to hear from the rest of Bronco Nation. What do you think would contribute to the gametime atmosphere?