Drink Up, Show Up or Shut Up

In December of 2003, I watched Colgate students tear down the goalposts of Andy Kerr Stadium after the Raiders defeated Western Illinois to reach the Division I-AA semi-finals. Still a student of Syracuse University, I was excited to see that my new school was as passionate about its sports teams as SU. In my freshman year, I was fortunate enough to celebrate Syracuse’s Final Four victory. After the win, my friends and I witnessed students swinging from tree tops, police in full riot gear beating back a stampede of crazed fans and several bare breasted female students running around in the 30 degree cold. It was pretty awesome. However as a Colgate fan, I’ve yet to see any levels of debauchery from our students in recent years. This year, things are at an all-time low. Lately, student attendance and overall enthusiasm about our athletic teams has been pretty pathetic. Crowds at hockey and football games are abysmal at best – with students almost always arriving late. I would like to improve this sad state of affairs by offering five suggestions for the Colgate community.

1. Drink heavily before games. There is nothing better than a raucous, rowdy and wasted student section. At the football game versus Massachusetts last month, the crowd was deathly silent and devoid of the drunken debauchery that make college athletics great. I was even on the receiving end of several dirty looks from fellow Colgate students who disapproved of my drunken tomfoolery. What’s with that? EVERYBODY should be intoxicated at sporting events. Being drunk makes sporting events more fun, increases crowd noise and pumps up our team. At Syracuse, we used to sneak in Poland Spring bottles of Vodka, Rum, Tequila – any type of liquid that would get us messed up. You have nothing better to do on a Saturday morning anyway. Get your ass up, pound some Keystones and get to the game!

2. Show up on time! It’s disheartening for our athletes to look up in the stands to see only a handful of fans at the start of games. At Syracuse, we used to line up outside the Carrier Dome for every home basketball and football game to get the best seats. I understand the sporting atmospheres of the Carrier Dome and Andy Kerr Stadium are very different, but it’s still our obligation to support our teams for the entire game. Colgate students need to get off their ass and get down to the stadium at the start of the game, not at the end of the first quarter. I realize this will create the need to plan ahead, but come on – what could be better than a bottle of Andre at noon on a Saturday morning? Not much at all.

3. Adopt new chants. At hockey games, when a power play comes to an end, the announcer on the PA system goes, “Colgate/Visiting team returns to full strength.” Our crowd responds with “And [opposing team] still sucks.” I can’t tell you how dumb that is. That is probably the lamest crowd chant in the history of collegiate sports. Sometimes our elite liberal arts education gets the best of us. There is no need to be witty or clever at sporting events. Just throw up your middle finger and scream out something derogatory about the opposing goalie’s mother. That will do the job nicely.

4. Do some research. Grab a copy of the media guide and find out a little bit about the opposing team. That way you’ll know the names and hometowns of the other team at the start of the game. It’ll also help you get into the heads of our opponents.

5. Do not watch a game on television. Kudos to the Athletic Department for banning televised basketball and hockey games, but football is still carried on Time Warner Sports. I understand the need for Central New York fans to view Colgate football, but there should be a way for the University to black out the game, at least on campus. Putting football games on television encourages Colgate students to be lazy. Why walk all the way down the hill to Andy Kerr Stadium when you can sit in the comfort of your dorm and catch the game there? Colgate should take a stand and ask Time Warner to blackout the game for students living on campus.

So there you have it. Five simple steps to making your Colgate athletics experience a great one. This weekend Colgate hosts Fordham at 1 p.m. down at Andy Kerr Stadium. I challenge Colgate students to get up Saturday morning, drink some beers and scream for the Raiders. You might have some fun.