Union students challenged: become better hockey fans!

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By Rob Dickson

This is a Letter to the Editor we decided would be better suited for the Sports section rather than Opinions.

Open letter to all those in the “Q-Zone” at Messa Rink:

Now in our 20th season as a Division I program and having the good fortune to watch a truly superior team, I earnestly plead with you to support the guys on the ice, who are giving us their all, with a “7th man” section worthy of Division I.

I’ve been a season ticket holder for 23 years, and attended games at Messa Rink since ‘76. During that time, I’ve endured more nights of weak-kneed, poor-spirited cheering than I care to remember.

There are only a few things needed to bring our fans up to Division I standards:

1. Expand the list of cheers! While there’s nothing wrong with “Let’s Go, Un…ion!” it becomes an embarassment when it’s the ONLY cheer, especially if it’s not done crisply and with force. What’s wrong with “Let’s go U!”? It can be easily shouted because of the “U!” In addition, the “U” can be used to overshout our opponents when they are cheering “Let’s go Red!” for example. There are many other humorous, witty, and appropriate to the situation cheers available. Take a listen at Cornell, Clarkson, and (shudder) RPI games.

2. There’s no need for the “You Suck!” or “Bull****!” cheers. Hockey is a sport loved by youngsters and they won’t be brought by their parents if foul language is the norm.

3. Applause, hoorays, and various screaming at the moment of a goal is fine, but wouldn’t it be more fun for the players (and fans) if it became traditional to perform some form of synchronized, “rock the rink” cheer whenever we score? While I’m as in favor of the “We want more!” cheer heard at other ECAC rinks as the next guy, what about just a rhythmic “U!” while holding the middle fingers of both hands down and showing only the index and little fingers in the style of Texas’ famous “Hook ‘em, Horns” gesture? I think we could blow the roof off with nearly 2,000 fans belting out “U! U! U!”

4. Booing the opposition during the introductions is low class and should be eliminated. Why not some form of “Big Ignore” such as the Cornell “read the newspaper” (without tossing the crumpled up newspaper at opposing fans) display? Perhaps we could “read the program”?

My basic complaint is that the denizens of sections P and Q display too little spirit and too much vulgarity; too much nastiness and too little wittiness. It’s past time to display as much class as the team you support. Try it! You’ll be amazed at the results, I’m certain. The women won’t mind the change either, I’ll bet.

Rob Dickson, Class of ‘68, Section X

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