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Student tries to increase fan involvement


Photo
WILL SEBERGER/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Fans in the student section of Arizona Stadium watch and laugh as an inflated doll is passed around during the Wildcats' football game against the University of Wisconsin last month.
By Joe Ferguson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 29, 2004
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A general lack of fan participation during home football games has driven one student to make it his personal mission to educate UA fans on proper sports fan etiquette.

Lucas Doub, a communication senior, said he was shocked when he attended his first football game at the UA. Doub said he was raised in the South on a steady course of sports games, where he says he saw how fans should participate during home games.

He said he was surprised by the poor fan participation at the UA football game he attended.

"There was a lack of noise (from fans) on the third down," Doub said. "There was a lack of noise overall."

Specifically, Doub said he wanted to improve the noise made by fans during third downs with a common ritual. When the visiting team has a third down in football, fans are urged to make some noise. The premise of the ritual is to bother the opponent on a critical play.

Doub also said he wanted to see the more of the "Ooh! Ahh!" man, a staple of UA home basketball games. The "Ooh! Ahh!" man, an elderly UA fan, usually performs his antics at halftime. He runs around and waves a towel, wearing a red tank top, short shorts and knee socks to energize the fans before the Wildcats return for the second half.

Doub said he was unsure whether the current "Ooh! Ahh!" man was still able to perform.

"He has gotten older," Doub said.

Doub said if the current "Ooh! Ahh!" man could no longer perform, a replacement could be found.

In addition to working to educate fans, Doub said he wanted to work with cheerleaders, the athletic department and the Associated Students of the University of Arizona to increase fan participation during home games.

"Maybe even start some new traditions," Doub added.

Amber Harryman, a classics junior and the spirit director for ASUA, said she likes to hear new ideas to increase school spirit.

Harryman said she thought the current level of fan participation has dramatically increased with new head football coach Mike Stoops.

"Everyone is excited to see Stoops," Harryman said.

Harryman said the excitement was evident during the Arizona-Wisconsin football game, when fans stayed through the rain.

"We had a rain delay and students came back," Harryman said.

Josh Pastner, an assistant coach for men's basketball, said fan participation can be a great asset when playing a home game.

"We want a make a hostile environment. We want to make it the toughest place to play," Pastner said. "We want them not able to hear their coaches."

Pastner said he remembered going to a game in Oregon where the fan participation was undeniable.

"I couldn't hear anything," Pastner said.

Pastner said past participation from fans during UA games is one of the reasons the UA often wins their home games.

"We have the best fans in the world," said Pastner.



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