The men’s basketball team might never have a rush for season tickets comparable to Duke University’s Krzyzewskiville, but if William Borden ’06 has his way, this winter there will be more fans in the John J. Lee Amphitheater stands regardless of whether or not the Bulldogs have another Ivy championship season.
To improve school spirit and fan attendance, Borden founded the Blue Bloods of Yale this fall. Organized by Borden, the group now has 25 to 30 members who plan to organize a new “Dawg Pound” cheering section in the stands of most major sporting contests. The Blue Bloods will also host tailgate and postgame parties. With the dining halls closed because of the strike, the Blue Bloods believe their efforts will give undergraduates an alternative way to socialize.
“School spirit seems lacking,” Borden said.
Although the Blue Bloods have not yet received any funding from the University and have not been recognized as an official club, Blue Blood Cassandra Harris ’06 believes the club will be a positive addition to undergraduate life.
“It’s not a big time commitment, but it’s a great chance to hang out with enthusiastic people,” she said.
Having graduated from Jesuit Catholic, an all-boys high school in California where a few spirited students played the role of cheerleaders, Borden feels confident that he can bring school pride to just about anywhere.
But boosting school spirit at a coed University with over 5,000 undergraduate students will be a different kind of challenge for Borden. While the men’s basketball team’s Ivy League championship season in 2002 drew sellout crowds for almost every game, other teams have a hard time filling the stands. Once their membership has grown, the Blue Bloods plan to change that. If they receive funding, the Blue Bloods would provide buses to home football games from Phelps Gate so that freshmen would have easier access to the Yale Bowl.
“The freshmen don’t know what is ‘normal’,” Borden said.
Right now, the Blue Bloods are gearing up for the year’s first home football game, against Towson, on Sept. 20.
“Hopefully we’ll have a strong showing,” Borden said.