To March, or not to March?
It isn’t much of a question.
Technician ran two opposing views on the Student Wolfpack Club’s recent behavior of “marching in” to their seats in the RBC Center today.
For those of you not familiar with what I am talking about, here is a quick rundown: before the basketball games against Duke and UNC, the Student Wolfpack Club remained in the RBC Center concourse area until about five minutes before tip-off.
They then marched down to their seats, getting the crowd pumped up and being filmed by ESPN cameras the entire way.
It was initially ESPN’s idea. As part of its student spirit week, it wanted to highlight the Student Wolfpack Club because it is one of the largest student organizations of its kind, and this walk-in was an innovative way for the network to do so.
I saw the student’s ‘march’ for the Carolina game and thought it was kind of neat for about 2 or 3 seconds. The ‘neat’ was then replaced with some bewilderment as this act/behavior just didn’t feel right – the act of the FANS marching into a game seems to be a gross misplacement of attention. Doesn’t it?
The attention of everyone in the arena attention should be on the Wolfpack’s TEAM, not our fans. On the opponent. On the game that is about to happen. Since when did the student fans – who are all so original that they wear the same T-shirts – become so important that they merit this kind of self-promotion and attention?
I know that it sounds like I was ‘against’ the march. But, that was just my immediate reaction. I really was pretty agnostic on the idea until I read Technician‘s two editorials on the topic.
I now lean even more in opposition of this misplaced energy. In addition to the fact that it just doesn’t feel right for the cameras and the attention of the crowd to be focused on an 18 year old ag major from Pinetops mosey down stairs while waving his hands in the air, I believe that the idea should be scrapped for two other primary reasons:
(1) The students can’t chant/cheer in unison – To be fair, few NC State crowds throughout history have been able to chant in unison. NC State crowds are raucous. We are rowdy. We are fantastic at shouting insults and attacks. Back in the day, we even had crowds who were able to generate witty insults and not just “you suck”. But, our student’s just don’t/can’t generate in unison cheering.
This isn’t totally a bad thing. I don’t want to be like the Cameron dorks. But, I do wish that the cheerleaders and the crowd were smart enough to figure out some of this on their own. For example, whatever happened to picking an opposing player and yelling whenever he touches the ball? That is in unison. It requires nothing more than yelling. How tough can that be?
Even more frustrating is how we now have decades of fans that don’t seem to be able to realize that simply chanting the three syllables of N-C-State is significantly easier and more powerful than the ridiculous Nnnnnnnnn Cccccccccc Staaaaaate. NC State. For example, as ABC televised the crowd rush the court after the win over Carolina the audible noise was the hum behind a garbled mess that was supposed to be Nnnnnnnnn Cccccccccc Staaaaaate. NC State. Nobody outside of the Wolfpack family had a clue what was being said. It’s absurd that cheerleaders and fans expect 20,000 fans at basketball games and 60,000 fans at football games to be able to hold the cadence, the timing, the rhythm and achieve unison of this ‘cheer’ when a simple, booming “N-C-State” would/could rock…AND be heard by others! (More on this topic in future entries)
First off, it didn’t work. The club’s chants fell flat, and the march down the RBC Center stairs was awkward if anything. Sophomore Daniel Winders watched the walk-in at the UNC game from his end zone seat.
“It looked like they were just filing down into their seats. They stopped chanting after 15 seconds,” Winders said. “The walk-in just wasn’t the big triumphant entrance it was supposed to be.”
(2) Who is creating a tough atmosphere for the opposing team during warm-ups if the students aren’t in their seats? Seriously, it is like we are trying to make the visit by our opponents as enjoyable as possibe. How can our fans be none as rowdy if our fans aren’t even in their seats during the best time to be heard and get into an opposing player’s head.
Another drawback to the walk-in, besides the fact that it turned out so lame, is that it takes some of the most passionate Wolfpack fans away from prime heckling time.
Hell, even Technician’s supportive view doesn’t even support the idea of making the march in a regular occurrence.
Now that those games are over, I say go ahead and advance the next four years, this should be something that sticks around long enough to become tradition.
However, overdoing this march-in would only take away the electricity and aura from the event — so board members must keep it specifically for the big games.
Why don’t we scratch the idea of making our students the center of attention and use that energy to them some lessons in originality and how to cheer? I’ll make a deal with you — when students actually learn the words to the Alma Mater and the Fight Song (not “The Red & White”) then we can re-address the topic.