Last night Utah State hosted USC in their basketball season opener.
Utah State’s basketball program is famous, but not because of their players, stats or wins. It’s because of their fans. Check out these videos from seasons past:
See what I mean? Pure insanity. I knew I had to see this for myself. Forget March Madness, this was November Neurosis.
The game itself was sold out, but it turns out Joe was short a few people in the pep band due to a concert conflict, so I took one for the team and picked up a mellophone. Go ahead and reread that last sentence, but I promise you read it right. I played mellophone last night.
And now I must apologize for these photos. I knew I’d be crammed in the stands with a bunch of other people and their instruments, so I decided to take my old back-up camera with its kit lens, just in case something got bumped. Let this be a lesson for anyone interested in owning a DSLR: Do not ever use a kit lens, unless you love grainy pics. Grain or no grain, you’ll at least get the idea of what it was like.
During the team’s warm-up, students were given info sheets with things to yell, when to yell them, dirt on USC’s team, what to expect, etc. Pretty genius.
When USC’s team was being introduced, everyone turned around and ignored them. When USU’s team was announced, each player had a special hand signal that the student section did for them. (Way to not fill the stands, ticketholders!)
And then we all did the infamous “I Believe” chant, complete with a crowd-surfing mascot. #soloud
Here’s my perch in the band section. The music is appropriate…I was totally wearing my poker face…like standing in a basketball arena holding a mellophone is always where I am on a Friday night.
The game itself was pretty good, but I was mostly engrossed with the students. Every time USC had the ball they made this low-pitched drone noise that was SO. LOUD. Thank goodness for earplugs! They also screamed a chant every time someone on USC’s team messed up. Everyone would point at the player and yell “YouYouYouYouYouYouYou…SUCK!”
Here’s Joe looking official:
The free throw chants were the best. While there were no Wild Bill sightings, a la YouTube, there was a funny “Men at Twerk” prank where all these guys under the goal changed to look like construction workers and were twerking toward the players. It was hilarious, and–whaddayaknow–the guy missed the basket every time.
When USU goes up to the line? The entire stadium is dead quiet and everyone raises their hands up in the air. When the ball goes in the arms come down and everyone yells “whoosh!”
The only other time during the game it was quiet was right at the final seconds. It fell to a hush and then they screamed their “winning team, losing team” chant, similar to this:
USU ended up winning 78 to 65.
I don’t know if my lower back can survive standing on concrete again, or if my eardrums will endure another deafening beating, but I enjoyed seeing the
game fans and having a real collegiate experience.