[Wildcat Online: Sports] [ad info]





No more prune juice in Happy Valley


Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Summer Wildcat

Dan Rosen

By Dan Rosen
Arizona Daily Wildcat, August 25, 1999

Perhaps the most meaningful question from any UA athlete last year came from Richard Jefferson - he was unsure if they served soda or prune juice in the arena during a basketball game.

Why? Because Richard experienced a basketball game at McKale Center. Not the most boisterous of crowds in all the land - let alone this campus.

The crowds for football games at Arizona Stadium are a bit better, but they still don't make enough noise to throw off the opposing quarterback's cadence.

The place where the Wildcats are heading this weekend can, without a doubt, boggle the mind of any opposing player on the field.

The Wildcats will travel to State College, Penn. at 7 a.m. Friday and stay in the Ramada Inn. They will go through their road game routine that night, wake up early the next day and head to the stadium.

There they will prepare for the biggest game of their lives, while their local fans are sleeping in Tucson.

This city will arise Saturday morning and click on channel nine at 10 a.m. If they are real fans, they might even get up earlier to watch ESPN Gameday and head to Fast Break Liquors to get their kegs.

While all this is going on, the Penn State fans will be filling Beaver Stadium and their beer guts while gearing up their voices - for this is one of the loudest places to play in all of college football.

Here is where the problem comes into play. Loud fans, the Wildcats know nothing of this.

This could pose the biggest problem of the day. Can the offense hear the snap counts of Keith Smith and Ortege Jenkins with 93,967 fans screaming their heads off? Will Dick Tomey be able to get the plays in on time to Smith or Jenkins? Will the defense be able to hear DaShon Polk shouting out assignments? Maybe even more importantly, will the defense be able to hear associate head coach Duane Akina on the sidelines?

While hearing Akina is never a problem (as he has one of the loudest voices on this campus), the others could prove costly.

This is not a joke by any means. These are serious issues that the team is dealing with.

"It is definitely a challenge," junior center Bruce Wiggins said. "We have been practicing with music playing, but we have to work on communicating on the offensive line. We are capable of running our offense without saying anything."

Communication is the most important thing for the Wildcats this Saturday, and if they can't do that, then their chances of coming home 1-0 are slim at best.

The music during practice will help, but it is not even close to the decibel level that Beaver Stadium will reach on Saturday. Nothing can prepare the Wildcats for that.

[end content]
[ad info]