Let’s Talk About Basketball Fan Support, Bulldogs


Okay…so this is going to be a long rant. If you are easily offended, it’s probably best that you go ahead and leave. As some people close to me can tell you, I’m very passionate about my sports. One sport that I’m probably the craziest about is Basketball. Specifically, Mississippi State Men’s basketball. The reason why is because back when I was a younger boy, basketball was a sport I could attend to while I watched my football team writhe in pain. Now I, like many others of you, have watched the past few years of Mississippi State basketball and have been underwhelmed. But one thing that is constant is my dying support for this team, and my defense of the team will never waver.

Which brings me to this rant. I was a member of the famous, or infamous depending on who you talk to, Rick’s Rowdies from 2010 to 2011. The only reason I was not a member of Rick’s Rowdies after 2011 was because we were disbanded in favor of the “Dog Pound”. We weren’t very happy about that, but that’s another rant for another day. Now what we were told was the point of disbanding the Rowdies, by those higher up, was to create a more unified student section. Hey…whatever helps out the atmosphere of the Hump I’m okay with. But one thing I won’t tolerate are people who claim to be fans that say “Until we get a new coach, I’m not going to another game.” You’re entitled to your opinion, I get that. But one thing I will NOT tolerate from so-called “fans” is the thinking that if they won’t come to a game, then we’ll hire a new coach and suddenly get better. As Dan said, fans have to come before the team comes up. Am I comparing Rick Ray to Dan Mullen? No. Don’t even start accusing me of saying that Rick Ray is the same as Dan Mullen or John Cohen.

Now students, we’re a part of the problem. Actually, we’re one of the biggest parts of the problem if not THE biggest. We have to show up to the games. We have to show support for the team. We have to be able to stand there, yes….stand. I know it’s a novel concept, but the student section should stand during the game. Wild concept, but we do it for football so why not do it for basketball? Plus, it allows you to yell louder. I’ve heard students say “Man…if only our student section was better then I would go.” Here’s a solution for you saying that, go. Go to the game, stand up, be crazy, be loud. If someone yells at you to sit down or shut up while you’re in the student section, yell LOUDER. In my four years as a student attending basketball games, one thing that has annoyed me throughout is the fact that 95% of the student section sits during the game. Timeouts are fine to sit, breaks are fine to sit, that’s fine. But for the majority of the game, the students are sitting, on their phone, not paying attention to the game at all. I’m sorry, but if you want to sit on your phone and/or talk to friends, you can do that elsewhere.

Want to know what I’ve seen? Big play happens, 50% of the student section stands and cheers for about 30 seconds and then sits back down. 30% stay sitting down and yell. 15% stay sitting down and have no idea what is going on in the game. 5% have been standing and acting crazy the whole time. Want to have an example to follow during the game as far as being loud and standing? Look in the corner by the MSU bench. You’ll see an older gentleman with a maroon towel and a white towel yelling his head off. He is 100% into the game at all times. His name? Ron “Candyman” Caulfield. This man is what every State fan should try and embody. He’s crazy, he’s loud, and he gives out free candy to fans. He’s also one of the biggest, truest MSU fans you’ll ever find. The man breathes Mississippi State. If there is an athletic event, chances are you’ll find him somewhere in the crowd.

So what was the point of this rant? To try and give a wake-up call to the fanbase. You don’t like what the atmosphere is like in the Hump? Well be a part of the solution. There are fans all over the area that can’t make it to games for either financial, personal, or other reasons. Students, we need to show up in bigger force and make the Hump a hostile environment again. Remember when Florida won their back-to-back National Championships? They were asked where the hardest place to play was. Their answer? Humphrey Coliseum. This is from an article on Gainesville.com

"(Florida basketball players Joakim) Noah, Al Horford and (Corey) Brewer all named Humphrey Coliseum as the most difficult road arena they played in when they filled out questionnaires as top 50 preseason finalists for the John R. Wooden Award.‘It gets loud,’ Brewer said. ‘I don’t know why. It’s a different kind of loud. So loud that you can’t think.’"

So…I implore all of you who are nearby and can attend basketball games this season, to actually do so. You want to have a better basketball team? Give the support that the team deserves. Don’t bad-mouth the players. Their lives are hard enough as it is, they don’t need their own fans bad mouthing them and saying how bad they are. Support them, be loud during games, and for the love of God don’t break down the players. Deal? We get our first chance to support our Dawgs this Thursday in an exhibition vs. Delta State at 7:00 PM.