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Life Coach: Airport Cheering 101

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The Life Coach believes that there are no stupid questions, just stupid Vandal fans who ask questions. His purpose is to shepherd Bronco Nation to the calm waters of illumination, guiding them through their perfunctory problems with grace, flair, and competent advice. Got a question for the Life Coach? Email him at

Dear Life Coach,
I recently was in another airport and saw another traveler wearing a Boise State shirt. I suddenly had an uncontrollable urge to shout "Boise!" and he responded with "State!" Is this acceptable?
Annoying in Arco

No. A thousand times no. Please do not do this. If you do this, mature Boise State fans will slowly shake their heads, look down to the ground, and sigh. Here’s why.

I lived in Ohio for a year once. In Ohio, one person will yell "O-H!" and another person will yell "I-O!". It’s fun. It’s unique. It’s been around forever. That’s why it works. But it does NOT work for us to do our "Boise...State!" cheer. First, it’s not fun to do it with just two people (especially if the guy on the back end is a little quiet because then it's just a dude in an airport yelling "BOISE!" and that’s a little odd). Second, it’s not unique at all. Every team has a back and forth cheer like that. And third, we’ve only been doing it so habitually for, like, 10 years – ever since we’ve been good. So please, please, don’t do this.

But there is something all to our own that is kind of cool that you can yell in an airport at another Boise State fan. By yelling this, you will see if this person really is a fan or not, and it will be a special moment between the two of you where you will both laugh and high-five each other. Just yell out, "And that’s another Boise State…" And if he or she is a true fan, they will yell back "FIRST DOWN!"

Life Coach,
How many Idaho Vandals does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Seriously, because I have four here right now and that isn't enough.
Handy in Hailey

It actually takes 17 Vandals to screw in a light bulb. Why? Because 16 isn’t enough, and 18 is too much.

It doesn’t have to make sense. We hate you, Vandals. Get better so we can have a rivalry again.

Mr. Life Coach,
Are Utah State fans worth jeering or are we just wasting our breath?

Sincerely, OBNUG

Well, let me say this. The name "Aggies" is actually short for "Agriculturalists." Now, don’t get me wrong; I support our agriculture as much as the next guy. But I just don’t think we need to waste our breath jeering the Utah State Agriculturalists. Not worth our time.

But we could do something new and exciting. I would encourage all fans instead of jeering to simply pity the other team. Simple and genuine pity. Instead of giving them the effort of our jeers, we could just feel bad for the Agriculturalists and their relative obscurity (ed's note: this works well with those New Mexico State Agriculturalists, too). Gentle pats on the back. Small encouragements for them to "keep trying, guys!" This will infuriate them. Agriculturalists hate pity.