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Get smart

By Ryan Finley
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
March 2, 2000
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I hate the guy that sits behind me at basketball games.

On the outside, he appears to be a regular college student, wearing a white UA hat over his short hair and usually bringing a date with him.

On the inside, however, this kid is a raving maniac.

When it comes to cheering, the kid is typical of a "new breed" of Wildcat fans - loud, obscene, ignorant of the sport of basketball and without a shred of creativity.

It's the dumbing down of the UA basketball fan, and it must stop.

Take last weekend. UCLA's Jason Kopono was called for a foul and was promptly sent to the bench. This prompted the guy behind me to respond with, "Yeah, take a seat you f****ng, stupid a**, f**got b***ch!"

He then decided to refer to the freshman guard with even stronger language, using phrases that would insult the gay and lesbian community greatly.

These remarks were increasingly insensitive considering that just a week earlier a UA student was stabbed at the Rainbow Cafe in a hate crime.

He used similar words to berate UCLA head coach Steve Lavin. In one sentence (if you could call it that) he used the 'f' word six times.

Real mature.

I don't mind insulting the other team - I do it too. But UA students are going about it all wrong.

Some of the best fans in the world, notably Duke's renown "Cameron Crazies", are known because of the unique, ingenious and downright funny ways they get at the opposing team.

UA fans should take notice.

Even a basic chant can be creative when done the right way.

Take when Southern California visited Stanford a few years ago.

USC head coach Henry Bibby, who is the estranged father of former UA star Mike Bibby was chided by Cardinal fans throughout the game with a chant of "your son hates you."

Crude, but funny.

Wildcat faithful should do some research if they hope to be among the nation's best fans.

Even rednecks can be good fans - just ask the Missouri basketball faithful.

MU's student section, known as "The Antlers", embarrassed Kansas' Ryan Robertson a year ago when they got a hold of the phone number belonging to his girlfriend. Tiger Faithful held up signs on national TV with the girl's name and home number.

Finally, don't be afraid to get downright mean if it helps to get under your opponents' skin.

In the early 1990s, Mizzou was playing Arkansas on national television. One student held up a sign that stated, "(former Arkansas star) Corey Beck has Syphilis", spelling out CBS, the network that was showing the game. The network cameramen put the sign on TV, failing to read what the sign said.

Although it wasn't in good taste, you gotta admit, it was pretty funny.

So the next time the kid behind me starts cursing a meaningless blue streak with no comprehension of the game at hand, I'm gonna pop him - or maybe even hold up a sign claiming he has an STD.

Either way, he deserves it.

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