In yesterday’s paper, Bobby Womack ’04 suggested that Yale football team’s performance against Harvard suffered because Yale fans do not know how to cheer.
I definitely agree with that opinion.
For future versions of The Game, Yale needs to upgrade its fan support. Thundersticks would probably work — at least they did for Harvard and the Anaheim Angels — but there is a line you just cannot cross.
There is an easier solution.
Despite the recent shortcomings, Yale fans have the energy to be a great fan base. But this enthusiasm remains largely misdirected. Throughout our football games, the student section is weakened by divisive residential college cheers. For Yale fans to be effective, they need to spend more time supporting their football team and less time supporting their residential colleges.
One of the worst Yale fan tendencies is to remind everyone else that somebody who just made a nice play is in a specific residential college. For example, Robert Carr ’05 breaks off a big run and everybody from Morse starts chanting, “He’s in Morse, he’s in Morse!” If you aren’t in Morse, this cheer is not going to be a lot of fun for you. After a full day of listening to that, other fans get annoyed — including Yale fans. Inevitably, there is a sarcastic cheer when a player is responsible for some miscue. Other specific residential college cheers present similar problems. Throughout The Game, the crowd would be on the verge of getting loud when a random college cheer shattered the mood. I heard sporadic chants of “No sleep ’til Pierson!” Once again, this statement does no more than irritate members of other colleges.
The most divisive influence for the Yale student section is definitely the Saybrook Strip. At every football game, I dread the end of the third quarter when people in Saybrook decide to strip down. First of all, I just don’t see the point. It’s freezing outside and in most — if not all — cases, nobody wants to see it. Of course, the Strip is accompanied by a chant of “We got naked, we got naked!” But it doesn’t end there. Students from the 11 other colleges feel obligated to chant, “You’re not naked!” Great. While this juvenile “No, you’re not,” “Yes, I am” argument is transpiring, the fourth quarter has started and there is actually a game being played. The bottom line: the Saybrook Strip has to go.
Finally, fans should recognize when to utilize certain cheers. “School on Monday” might be a good way to taunt Harvard students, but it should not be brought out until the end of The Game. Or, at the very least, it should not be used when our team is driving to try to tie the score in the fourth quarter.
I heard some chants of “Harvard cheats” at random intervals. That one is not a keeper. I also would shed the band’s “Another Yale first down.” I do not want to be too critical because the YPMB attends every game and is certainly a loyal fan base. But this cheer can get annoying, especially if the offense has not generated a first down in a while.
The Yale student section needs to be more unified. We would certainly help the team more if we ignored residential colleges and just cheered for Yale. After all, as surprising as it may seem, we are all rooting for the same team — at least I think so. If you have been to a men’s basketball game, you know how terrific our fans can be. There is no reason why we should not be able to support the football team to the same degree.