We all know that it’s been an awfully long time since the Bulldogs’ men’s basketball team has been involved in games as important as those against Pennsylvania and Princeton this weekend. But that doesn’t mean that Yale fans can’t act like Bobby Knight at his finest. In order to compensate for the inexperience, as well as to help out the Elis, I present a crash course in heckling, Bulldog style.

First, some basic techniques:

“Airball”: Whenever a Penn or Princeton player puts a shot up and finds nothing but air, scream this term at the top of your lungs. Continue by noting his number, and repeat term louder each time said player touches the ball for the duration of the contest.

Free throw etiquette: Just because a Tiger or Quaker is at the charity stripe doesn’t mean that you have to be generous. Greet every opposing free throw shooter with the harassment equal to an overworked bouncer at Toad’s. Acceptable chants include: “What’s the abbreviation for the state of Mississippi? MISS, MISS, MISS, MISS!” At a particularly crucial moment late in the game, employ the secret weapon: As the shooter goes into his routine, shout in synch with his actions, “Dribble… Dribble… Aim…” Then, just as he is ready to release the ball, yell “Wait….No, Stop, Not Yet, Don’t Shoot!”

Never, ever, let up on the coaches: Princeton head coach John Thompson III is a particularly viable target for this rudimentary technique. Destined never to equal the success of his father, Thompson is open to assaults like: “John, we can’t see you. Your father’s shadowing is covering you up!” or “How come you’re only wearing socks? Oh yeah, you can’t fill Daddy’s shoes!”

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, on to some advanced material. Let’s start with the Tigers:

#33 Nate Walton: Another son of a legend, but destined for mediocrity, Walton is a fifth-year senior and a prime Princeton target. “Graduate already! Your father can still beat you, and he’s like 50 years old,” or “Dick Galiette is a better broadcaster than your father.” When the money is really on the line, resort to: “Nate, comb your damn hair! Too bad you didn’t get your mother’s good looks?!”

#3 Kyle Wente: This sophomore guard played only 18 minutes last year because he had to have ankle surgery. As soon as Wente has logged 18 minutes, yell “Kyle, you’ve played more than last season, hurry up and get hurt!” As soon as Wente starts missing shots, remember that he was a member of the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering team. Use something like: “Kyle, where’s your calculator? Can’t you calculate the proper trajectory at which you must shoot the projectile?”

#10 Ed Persia: This freshman guard has not yet been acclimated to the rigors of Division I basketball. Help welcome him to the big time. “Ed, get the hell off the floor! Go back to Persia! Go make a rug!” Never mind that Persia is actually from Beaumont, Texas. You see, the beautiful part about heckling players is that they can’t respond.

#23 Mike Bechtold: This junior forward had both of his first two seasons end with stress fractures in his right foot. Tease him about this by saying, “Mike, don’t you wish that you had two left feet?” Even better, Bechtold’s mom is a self-employed caterer. Antagonize him with, “Hey Bechtold, your mom baked me cookies the other day. They sucked!”

And now, to the Quakers:

#1 Ugonna Onyekwe: The most athletic player in the Ivy League, Onyekwe is son of a Nigerian diplomat in London. He also likes to be referred to as “U.” Some people just make it too easy: “U suck,” “U are crappy,” and “Ugonna get your ass kicked,” are all appropriate responses every time he touches the ball.

#21 Lamar Plummer: This senior started three games his freshman year, then didn’t line up with the top unit until this year. Plummer’s favorite TV show is “Martin” — just make up your own heckle for this one. When Plummer goes to the line, start laughing hysterically and point at his pants. Proceed to yell, “Plummer, you have a leak!”

#2 Koko Archibong: Surprisingly, Penn’s sophomore guard is not related to Yale guard Ime Archibong ’03. Make sure that he knows that he’s also not as good as Ime. Yell things like “Koko, you’re not even the best Archibong on the floor” and “KO KO, we’re going to knock you out!”

So there you have it, a primer on the finer points of college basketball. Feel free to add your own touches as well, like painting your face or drinking heavily before the game, to enhance the experience. Above all, have fun and remember that it’s very unlikely that you’ll get kicked out of the John J. Lee Ampitheater if you’re rooting for Yale.

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