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A Brief Rant on Chants

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In the past couple years, I have noticed an interesting trend from the Marquette student section. It seems more and more like our students have lost interest in the idea of the chant.

Now before I elaborate any further, let me remind everyone that I am the last guy to call out the students. Some other internet writer types will readily complain about what today's students are or aren't doing. But that's not my style. I am on record acknowledging that every generation of fans does things their own way. And that the generations that have come before will always think the way they did it was superior. I get that. My issue is not that today's students are doing it wrong, but the fact that they're not doing it at all.

I have always thought that the entire student body yelling the same thing in unison in an effort to inspire their team, or intimidate their opponents, was timeless. It's not something that's specific to one particular school, but to college basketball as a whole. Now, for whatever reason, it seems like our students have largely abandoned the concept. There will be a smattering of people that cheer along with the cheerleaders throughout the game and a brief "We Are" chant at the end of a victory (by those that have stayed that long), but that's about it.

I grant you, we're not an easy school to work up a good chant for. A big reason is that we don't have a nickname that people readily rally behind. No one chants "Let's go Golden Eagles!" That's partly because it's a bit cumbersome with all of those syllables, but it's mainly because so many people still don't want to concede that "Golden Eagles" is our school's nickname. Because of that disconnect, we can't tap too far back into our history and pull something as deep seeded as a "Rock Chalk Jayhawk" for example (not that any school has a chant that cool). For years we clung to the Warriors and the "Let's Go Warriors!" chants would rain down. This always used to annoy me, because it seemed to be an example of our fan base needlessly clinging to the past and pining for a nickname that was never coming back. NOW, I would gladly take a healthy "Let's Go Warriors!" from the student section. A few people usually try, but it just doesn't seem to ever take off.

After the jump: Mr. K's undies in a bundle.

Even without having a nickname that we can all get behind, there's still plenty of low hanging fruit that could be easily be shouted with togetherness. This season's students haven't even mustered a spontaneous "Defense!" chant when the team is looking for a big stop. As I said, a few will join in with the cheerleaders "MU Defense" cheers, but it rarely goes beyond that. (And I'm here to tell ya kids: the student section chants what it wants... not what the cheerleaders tell it to. If it's the other way around, ya'll are definitely doing it wrong) Or if defense isn't your particular brand of vodka, how about this... Your team's best player goes by a 3-letter acronym. What could be easier to chant than that? But have we ever once heard a "D-J-O, D-J-O" chorus come down from the student section? Not that I'm aware of.

And since we haven't been able to master the simple chants, I'm not stunned that the chances to be a little more clever have eluded us as well. For example: I would think that while we were taking down a scuffling Pittsburgh team, that would've been a prime spot to give them some shit about bailing for the ACC. Yet we heard nothing of the sort. There were a couple of guys sitting in my section that made the effort, but 2 dudes in section 423 can only do so much. This really should be the work of the student section. I did hear some Karen Sypher chants when Louisville was in town. But even those fell short because A) That joke is a little bit tired and B) They were chanting it while MU was shooting free throws. We can do better.

The only thing that the students seem to be enthusiastic about shouting in unison is "You suck" during Rock n Roll Part 2. Now this is probably some old man stuff here, but I've never been a huge fan of that bit. It's funny when it's done towards the 2 Badger fans sitting alone in the student section, or in the direction of the one section of Notre Dame fans up in the corner of the building. But when it's done in the direction of the visiting team's bench, and the dozen or so fans/players' parents that are sitting behind it, then it's not so cool. Especially when that team is Prairie View A&M, or some other little school that we paid to fly up here and get dumptrucked. We know they suck, they play in the SWAC. There just here to get their ass kicked and pick up a little game experience, along with a paycheck. And besides all that, I've always agreed with Jim Rome's theory that, "Saying something sucks is not a take. It's weak, uninspired and it's lazy."

Now, don't get it twisted. I'm not in any way advocating that our student section needs to be constantly participating in elaborate, coordinated cheers in an effort to look cool. I am not in favor of any sort of "If You Want to be a Badger" type of song and dance crap. In fact, after spending the weekend being subjected to those chuckleheads down at Notre Dame, I would say that I am vehemently opposed to such an idea. (Though, I admit, there are some cool ones out there). I'm just saying our students can do more - More to fire up our team, and more to make the environment increasingly unfriendly to our opponents.

This Saturday is National Marquette Day. It's the day when all Marquette fans are to join together and cheer for their team in one voice. I suggest the student section take that to heart. Cincinnati is coming to town, for a very important game. And recent history suggests that this could be a tight one. What a better time ramp up the energy. And don't forget, the Bearcats also bring with them plenty of fodder for creativity. I mean, if Yancy Gates is shooting free throws in an important spot, that might be a good time to remind him of this. It certainly couldn't hurt.

So come strong Saturday my friends. It's crunch time and YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles are going to need a little bit of that focused energy from the students. It's time to step your game up.