In my third season sitting in the student section of Spartan Stadium, Ive had an outstanding time. Ive only seen our team lose twice at home and have increased my football knowledge to the point where I can yell at the refs with my obsessive guy friends.
But I do have an ax to grind, and with Homecoming weekend this week, now seems like the time to grind it.
Sometimes when were cheering and taunting, I cant help thinking were just plain stupid.
Say it with me football fans: Every third down is not a key play.
Lets create a scenario. MSU has the ball on its own 40-yard-line in the fourth quarter, with two minutes left. Its third and two yards to go. And - this may be the hardest part to imagine after the last two weekends - lets pretend were up by 25 points.
Whether we make the play or not, we are most likely going to win. If we dont make the play and have to punt the ball, what are the odds that the team will be able to rack up 20 points before the bell rings and we all leave to finish our tailgates?
Slim to none.
And more importantly than that, if our own team has the ball, why the hell would we want to make noise and distract our team?
Lesson No. 1:Unless it is paramount that MSU makes a stop, put your damn keys away.
Moving on, well touch on one of MSUs finer spectator moves: rowing.
Whenever MSU gets a touchdown, sit down and be proud that youre making fans around the stadium check you out.
If youre unfamiliar with this move, every time MSU scores a touchdown, the entire student section promptly takes a seat, grabs onto the person in front of them and rocks back and forth as if rowing a boat.
From the other side of the stadium, this looks extremely neat-o. The first time anyway.
After that, it seems like no one can get it together. Some people sit, others dont. Entire sections in the middle will remain standing, as if they are suddenly too cool to row anymore.
Well, you arent.
And to the people who thinks theyre cooler than the rest of us and should stand up and surf or fish while the rest of us row? You sit down too and look for attention somewhere else.
Lesson No. 2: Apparently, we all know the words to the fight song. But almost every time the band begins to play it, I have to wonder if thats really true.
We are never with the band. We clap at hyperspeeds. One side of the student section is on, Fight, fight, rah, team fight! and the other is singing Were going to win this game.
I know, I know, sound reaches some fans faster. But when the guy right next to me is a verse ahead, I cant really blame wind speeds. When you dont sing together, the fight song kind of loses its effect.
Lesson No. 3: When the band is playing, take a moment, listen and look around you and learn how to clap and sing with rhythm.
Ive also noticed an unusual phenomena strike the student section any time were losing.
Suddenly, no matter how pumped up we seemed minutes earlier, everyone is convinced we suck, were going to lose, and we might as well sit down.
Bobby Williams is no longer our hero. T.J. Duckett? Who cares. MSU doesnt need to convince the world were fair weather fans - they already believe that.
Lesson No.4 : Prove them wrong and dont sit down the second MSU falters. Support our team until the end.
I know none of these factors are going to make us win football games, which is the real reason were all there. But if someone from the opposing team ever sat in our section, how do you think it looks when all our students cant even figure out how to clap with our own fight song?
In all the excitement of a T.J. Duckett run or a Haygood catch, maybe its hard to remember the exact protocol of every cheer and rant. But please, try, just a little, to pull yourselves together students.
No matter how drunk you are, you can do better than that.
Tell Krista youll start cheering better when the Spartans start playing better at firstname.lastname@example.org.