Have pride in our sports

I’m writing in response to Mr. Danforth’s recent column describing UVM’s need for a new athletics facility, yet wanting to hold on to the current facilities because of their aesthetic appeal.I agree on that point.Working with the Athletic Communications Department the past two seasons, and growing up going to basketball and hockey games as a kid, you find that there is a uniqueness about Patrick Gym and Gutterson Fieldhouse. While I support a new facility, I understand that we would be leaving behind a very cherished part ofUVM’s past.The problem is, one of said facilities has become a graveyard, devoid of any sort of student involvement. I’m talking about Patrick Gym and its total lack of a student section.Sure, there are students who show up to games, but they certainly don’t act like a college basketball student section.In a culture where everyone knows the Cameron Crazies or the Izzone, it shocks me that college students don’t want to be a part of that at their own school. In case people haven’t noticed, we’ve had a pretty good basketballteam for the past 4-5 years.It really is not that hard. For starters, stand the entire game. There is no reason for you to sit. Get loud when the other team has the ball. Start a “Defense” chant (if it can be done at hockey games where it is totally out of place, it can be done in basketball).Make noise when the opponent is at the free throw line. It is pretty pathetic that they get the privilege to shoot their free throws in silence on the road. Do the Manny Ramirez Jazz Hands and be quiet when UVM is at the line.Taunt individual players endlessly, and it is much better if the fans have done their homework by checking out the other team’s Web site and reading player bios. If he resembles a bad actor, let him know all the time.Or if he shares a name with a celebrity, make fun of it. For example, Stony Brook has a player named Nick Carter. Why wasn’t anyone chanting “Backstreet” when he was at the free throw line on Monday night?All of this makes the experience of the fan so much better. There is no need to be profane, the f*ck Northeastern chant at hockey when UVM was down 4-2 on Friday is not going to make a difference and makes the student body as a whole seem uneducated and uninformed.If students show up, get loud and stay loud throughout and come up with creative, comical chants along the way we could really have something special.You are in college, part of college is going to sporting events, painting your face and going wild. I know we cando this at hockey games, but that sort of intensity should be at basketball games too. The players deserve to havetheir peers cheering them on and being the “sixth man” of Patrick Gym.So please, I implore all students to go to a basketball game and go nuts. I think you’ll find yourself having agood time and watching a really exciting team push their way to another conference championship game.Sincerely,Matt MooreClass of 2009