Like, go sports or whatever
By Jack Archambault
It’s rare that the paper ventures into the world of sports. And by rare, I mean almost never. But as a dedicated fan of Fordham basketball who also has access to a printing press, it is my constitutional duty to put everyone on blast for the apathy that surrounds the basketball teams at this school. I understand that not everyone is going to share my enthusiasm for middle-of-the-road college hoops, but a 3,200-seat gym should not be as hard to fill as we make it seem here at Fordham. Furthermore, I truly believe that a packed house at the Rose Hill Gym would make for one of the more unique and electric environments in college basketball.
I was at the men’s game against Rhode Island last Wednesday, and I have to say, we almost got it right. The “white out” was a fun idea from the athletics department, and even if the shirts were objectively terrible, it did seem to result in more students at the game. Even if half the fans were cheering for URI, seeing the gym 70% full was refreshing, and it created a big-game atmosphere. Still, I did say we almost got it right, because the students who showed up at the game seemed like they would rather be anywhere else. With that, I’d like to present my rules for attending a Fordham basketball game:
1. No leaving at halftime
I know, I get it, sports are looong, and boooring, and…Wait! I don’t get it at all! There’s a reason I’m writing this article about basketball games and not football or baseball. If you think football and baseball are too long, fine. I might disagree, but I won’t argue. But that argument falls flat when it comes to basketball. Games last two hours, max, and unlike football or baseball, basketball is a very accessible sport. By that I mean everyone pretty much gets it. There is no reason to leave a basketball game early. None. At halftime on Wednesday, students were flocking for the exits like someone just told them Vineyard Vines was having a half-off sale in the lobby. What’s even worse, IT WAS A CLOSE GAME!! We had played a top-25 team extremely tough in the first half, gutting through some big injuries to keep it within single-digits. You can’t leave yet! You don’t know what’s going to happen! If it’s halftime and the game is still within reach, you can’t leave.
2. At least act a little excited
I first realized this during last January’s game against VCU, (a game Fordham won, by the way) when we were leading late in the second half and each Fordham basket was greeted by a polite round of applause. For Fordham basketball, having a chance to beat VCU or URI is as good as it gets. So when that happens, I don’t know, maybe stand up and yell. Or at least do something other than sit on your hands. Seriously, Fordham students at a basketball game are like people in London watching football when the NFL first started playing games there. They just don’t seem to fully understand what they’re watching and end up cheering for all the wrong things. Like pizza. Speaking of which…
3. You can’t be at your loudest during the Pugsley’s Pizza Giveaway®
This one is hard for me because I love pizza, too. But if you’re at a basketball game, the whole idea is to root for your team. Therefore, it would be nice if the fans who are absolutely rabid during the pizza toss would show a similar level of enthusiasm when Perris Hicks drains a 3 from the corner.
If you really hate basketball, fine. I can’t make you like it. But I know for a fact that there are enough basketball fans here to give the games some kind of atmosphere. And I also understand that rooting for Fordham men’s basketball can be tough sometimes. Okay, try borderline impossible. The program hasn’t made the NCAA tournament since 1992, and since then has finished with a winning record only twice. Its only NBA player in that span was the immortal Smush Parker, a player most famous for oversleeping and missing a Lakers team flight, being hated by Kobe Bryant, and, y’know, being named Smush. To cap it all off, head coach Jeff Neubauer is most famous for cheating on his wife with a woman named Martina who he met in Prague. None of this is to say that people shouldn’t go to the games, but I can understand the reluctance to embrace a team whose coach has more mistresses than winning seasons. But that argument hits a wall when applied to the women’s team.
I know there is a weird stigma attached to women’s sports, that they are somehow less entertaining and enjoyable to watch. While you won’t see anyone dunking at a women’s game, you probably won’t at a Fordham men’s game, either, so what’s the difference? The Fordham women, though, are 16-5, and 3rd in the Atlantic 10 with a real chance to win it. G’mrice Davis and Bre Cavanaugh are two of the best players in the conference and have a nice Shaq-Kobe vibe. My point is, if it’s a good team that fans want, they’ve got one in the Fordham women. They’re a team that deserves better than the turnout they get, so get out and #showyaluv for the Rams.