A week or so ago I made a post about ways to make the Taco Bell Arena a formidable place to play. Up until yesterday, our fanbase had been getting increasingly quiet, and we were well on our way to looking more like some weird mime-y collegiate performance art. But last night, more than just signs of life, I saw a force to be reckoned with. I also saw a few bad habits. It may be hard to swallow know, but Boise State brought the heat! So, while everyone else breaks down the team's play, I'd like to review the fan performance.
1. Dress Code
This week's was a little tricky, I'll admit. The students were encouraged to dress in costumes to give the Aztecs a little taste of their own medicine, while the color scheme for everyone else was a White-Out. Based on the sample size of one section, about 64% of the arena wore white. This is not bad! It is also not visually arresting in any way. You will not see that on any posters in the Bronco Shop. I still found it very encouraging, because it was the most effort I have seen put into this aspect of fan involvement so far this season. I give you all a B+. Students, you get a C-. You barely passed, but I like you and didn't want to give you a D. I saw maybe 10 people in costume, compared to nearly an entire section last season. The Corral seems to have lost some talent in last year's senior class, but I feel confident the young blood will rise up to the occasion with time and experience.
The Taco was rocking so loudly that Greg Graham told his son to turn the dang TV off when it wasn't even on. There was an unprecedented level of noise in there, at least in the past ten years. I would consider it an A- performance. While the level of noise is to be commended, the timing was sometimes off. There is a reason why we are supposed to be loud when our players are on defense, because when Marks is having to repeat himself at the top of his lungs over the din of his own fans, we need to reconsider our priorities. When we were roaring on Defense, SDSU struggled. When we started getting louder on offense than on defense, our team struggled. A close game is NOT the time to forfeit home-court advantage! Pour it on when an opponent is making a comeback, not after they have taken the lead. When an Aztec has to call for a time-out because it's crunch time and he is floundering, BE LOUD. The student section is not adjacent to the opponent's bench by accident. Don't let them have time to recover! Try it vs. UNM and see what happens.
This gets an F. If there is one chant people associate with SDSU basketball fans, it's the one they stole from USU/Navy. I can't think of anything more demoralizing than using an Aztec time-out with our 14 point lead to throw what ESPN called "the coolest chant in college basketball" back in their faces. Bronco Nation, learn this one. It would have and will continue to come in handy against USU as well. http://youtu.be/Z53Lzls8fbE
I Believe That We Will Win - Utah State vs SDSU 2014 (via treesap32)
Walking into TBA does not make you a basketball fan; knowledge of the game does. This is beginner stuff, and I know we can handle it. We've got a game coming up against a great UNM team, and we need all the leverage we can get. Cullen Neal has already gotten a blown whistle for blowing kisses at an opposing student section. He's the coach's son, and he tweets about Spongebob. This shouldn't be hard. Corral, reach higher! These are the people that have brought us two amazing dance routines. I see no reason why we can't repeat what we've already learned for a new audience. Let's adapt and ATF. Dream big, students!
Overall, I think our fans have earned a spiciness rating of Cayenne. It's no habanero, but it's only a few grades below pepper spray. It's a very marked improvement over our season-average of Anaheim, so there's a lot to be proud of here!
Postgame observations: Fans, unless you are paid to do so, you earn the privilege of critiquing our players after you have made a flawless game-time performance. There is a difference between making observations and passing absolute judgements, so don't get it twisted. If you were there rumbling Taco Bell Arena, giving it your all, just try and tell me that you weren't having the time of your life for at least 39 minutes. I understand if you were having so much fun that you want more opportunities to experience it come tourney-time, but don't let that final score negate the entire event for you. There are plenty of programs with worse teams and crazy awesome fans. Just look at Utah State! Granted, there is literally not a single other thing to do in Logan, but we've got just as many fans in attendance as they do. I am impressed, and I can't wait to see the next one. Don't lose that fire, we're gonna need it. There is $1 admission to the women's blackout vs. Utah State this Saturday at two. Bring everybody you love and show them you've still got it and you're not afraid of a little gender equality. I'll see y'all as we #SweepTheAggies Saturday!