Bumped from the diaries. -N
My name is Jamie and I play drums in the band. I've been to almost every home game since attending UCLA (I'm a grad student now and I did my undergrad at UCLA as well).
I'm here today to voice my disappointment in the lower deck student section. This is not just about this year, this has been every year. WEAR TRUE BLUE AT EVERY GAME AT PAULEY. I'm not addressing everyone who goes to games. I'm talking about the students who have the privilage of sitting courtside to watch the greatest college basketball team ever at the most legendary venue ever. Isn't it required to wear true blue to sit there? Don't you get free (or heavily discounted) true blue den shirts with a flash of your ID? I bought one for five dollars. A grey or pink shirt that says UCLA on it does not count. As far as college team colors go, blue is not a very strong and imposing one. I hate to say it, but our crosstown rival's colors really do pop out at you, and they do a good job of uniformly wearing it. In order to create this type of imposing threat and a home court advantage, a uniform shade of blue (which is readily available to you) needs to be worn.
Another thing: learn to cheer. There I said it. "but jamie, I do cheer... at the beginning of the game and when the team is doing well." Exactly.
Last year, a thirty piece pep band went to the women's Pac-10 tournament in northern California. Against all odds, we made it to the title game against Stanford. Our team was down for the majority of the game, absolutely getting out played by a better team. But our little 30 piece pep band did not stop cheering the ENTIRE game despite being the only UCLA fans (besides the parents of the team) facing a sea of cardinal. The place was jam packed full of Stanford fans. There was a distinct home court advantage. We won that game. And if you ask anyone that was there, I guarantee they will agree that the victory was sparked by our support when things did not look good for our team.
My point is, you DO make a difference. I'm talking about yelling every time the other team has the ball. I'm talking about organized cheers when our team has the ball. The key word there is organized. Every time one of our two cheers is started, it does not last very long because for whatever reason, it is the nature of people to speed up. U C clap clap L A clap clap becomes UuCclapclaLpAa. And then people give up. I'm sure I'm fighting an impossible battle here, but I'm serious. If you don't speed up the cheers, they will stay together and be an imposing home court advantage. And keep cheering all the way through the game. Just because we are blowing out a team by 20 points, doesn't mean it's time to stop (or worse yet, go home). Keep cheering so we can beat them by 50.
It's also good practice, there will be games where we are going to be down. The cheering cannot be a reaction to our team doing well to get back into the game. Our team getting back into the game is a byproduct of their fan support. That's called a home-court advantage. Let me repeat: cheering should not be a reaction to things going well on the court, but the other way around. Obviously you are going to get louder when things go our way, it's an awesome feeling to see Josh nail that three from right in front of the other team's bench to put us in the lead. But when we are down, the students need to set the tone that we are still there with our team.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox for now.
This is not about Bruin vs. Bruin. I am not trying to make any enemies. I am trying to create a unified home court advantage that can impose its will onto any team that comes into Pauley Pavillion. The students are an example to the rest of the crowd.