When sophomore Arezoo Riahi held sign-ups for a spirit club at GW in October, she never expected the overwhelming response that has met George’s Nutz – a new campus group that has formed over a love of Colonial basketball games.
Navy blue shirts labeled “George’s Nutz” now pepper the crowd at GW men’s home games, often concentrated in the first few rows of the student section at the Smith Center.
“Spirit is a thing that’s harder to cultivate on a city campus. The city is great for internships and opportunities, but it’s not so much an asset when you try to cultivate spirit,” said Riahi, Student Association director of campus spirit.
When she started the club to boost campus spirit, Riahi said she expected about 30 members to join the group that now has about 80 active members.
“We weren’t expecting this to be this big of a hit. There’s been talk about tryouts or talk about opening it up to everybody,” Riahi said. Members said they only needed a pointed interest in spirit to join the group.
Most members are freshman, and Riahi said the group relies on a spirited freshman class to help George’s Nutz become a GW tradition.
“With this George’s Nutz thing, I think it really shows there’s a need,” Riahi said. “People really want to see some spirit. All these people with the shirts are just people who love their school.”
Freshman Nathan Blumberg said he shows up to most home games with his face painted half blue and half gold, wearing yellow Adidas pants and a yellow jacket. He said George’s Nutz members usually sit in the front row shouting “the normal school cheers.”
“The key to George’s Nutz is to build school spirit,” Blumberg said. “I mean, if you’ve seen their shirts, they’re funny shirts. They get people to laugh.”
The shirts are dark blue, sporting a statue of George Washington on the back with a basketball over his midsection. The shirt’s slogan reads, “Don’t drop the ball.”
Blumberg said the spirit of George’s Nutz unifies the group.
“(The club) is a great place to build a bond between seniors, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, everybody,” he said. “I mean, we even have grad students. The games are a great place to bring everyone together.”
Blumberg said he hopes to expand George’s Nutz to support other GW teams.
“I certainly would like to see George’s Nutz out there for other sports,” he said. “But, in the near future, I hope to see a lot more in spring sports.”
As the clock ran out in last week’s loss to Xavier and GW failed to gain a lead, the crowd lost some of the enthusiasm it previously displayed earlier in the game. But Riahi said action on the court never puts a damper on the Colonial spirit of George’s Nutz. And she said this is just the beginning.
“Just from going to games this year and last year, it’s been much crazier this year and hopefully it will continue to get crazier,” she said.