After the best year in GW athletic history, students will flock to 22nd Street to watch the GW basketball squads in the Smith Center. Use this guide to understand the complexities of Colonial chaos.
To all of the freshmen and previously disinterested: welcome to the wonderful world of GW basketball. Chances are you’ve heard a thing or two about last year’s one-loss season for the men’s team and some guys named Pops, J.R. and Mike. But if you think you’re going to cut it with the fans in the stands at the Smith Center just by knowing how to spell Mensah-Bonsu (or, that it means whale-killer), you are sorely mistaken. Consider this your syllabus for GW Basketball 101…
Before the game:
Get to the game early – you’ll want to. Now that Colonial Army has had their early entry privileges revoked, chances are lines will start to form early. Doors open an hour before game-time and if you want to get a seat in the lower section, you’ll have to get there at least an hour before that. When you get inside, take a seat because once the game starts, you’ll be standing … the whole time. Also, when Coach Karl Hobbs makes his way onto the court, be sure to show him some love and cheer loudly because he is always counting on the crowd to be the sixth man.
During the game:
You’ll quickly learn that the Smith Center (sometimes called Smitty) has a reputation for being brutal to play in as a visitor. By occupying your 12 inches of bleacher, you are part of that reputation and you should know how to act accordingly. When the other team is being introduced to the crowd, your job is simple. After a player’s name is said, all you have to do is yell “sucks.” It’s rude and your grandmother might be ashamed that you use that kind of language in public, but succumb to the peer pressure and do it because everyone else is.
After the visiting team has been introduced and the announcer moves on to coaches, start clapping rhythmically. When GW is at the line shooting free throws, just do everyone a favor, shut up, and put up those spirit fingers. Studies have shown it makes no difference at all, but how could it hurt? You’ll pick up the requisite cheers of “Lets Go G-Dub” and “Go Colonials Go!” in no time, but there are a few more you should also have in your repertoire. When a visiting player fouls out, start swinging your finger around your head, hold out a big “ooooh” and when the player takes a seat, yell, “Sit down!”.
After the game:
Last year, the crowd rushed the court after GW finished the season 16-0 in the A-10. Don’t hold your breath for that to happen anytime soon. To be honest, after the game all you have to do is thank the Smith Center staff and go home.
Well, be polite and stay for Coach Hobbs’ post-game interview because chances are he’ll explain why he did all that jumping and screaming that you witnessed for the last two hours. If we win, go home and maybe have a few beers. If we lose, have a few more and get ready to do it all over again a few days later.
This article appeared in the November 9, 2006 issue of the Hatchet.