Bates: Airing of grievances, Allen Fieldhouse edition

Jason Bates

Today we take a brief hiatus from literature and focus on another topic I’m passionate about: KU basketball games. Allen Fieldhouse is the greatest sports venue without a doubt; what sets it apart is the combination of tradition and passion from students and alumni who together create an electric environment. This season has been more hyped than any other I’ve experienced in my time here since Fall 2010, judging by the incredible turnout at lotteries and the Late Night crowd control snafu. So far this season everything has been great, but I think we can do better. There have been a number of things going on in the student section that I believe should be eliminated or improved upon. Please consider the following:

Don’t “whoo” during the Rock Chalk chant
We’ve made some significant progress in the last year or two to eliminate the “whoo.” It sounds tacky and takes away from the ominous, haunting mood of the original, the sounding of a death knell for the other team. While I’m on the topic, start the chant at around 2:00 if we have a significant lead. We waited until sub-1:00 at the Iona game when we were up by 20 or so.

Don’t yell “home of the Chiefs”
I love the Chiefs as much as the next guy (9-1 baby!), but they don’t belong in our country’s national anthem. This is only marginally acceptable to do when you’re in Arrowhead. Let’s be classy and sing it the way Francis Scott Key wrote it instead of yelling like Neanderthals. I’ll also remind you that Bill Self said he hates this practice; what more convincing do you need?

Do free throw distractions correctly
Aside from the “pinwheel fists” one, the goal of the other two is to build up anticipation to a sudden movement right before the player shoots. According to an article in Nature, science supports the hypothesis that uniform background motion can influence the hand motion of an observer. Random motion can be filtered out, while sudden uniform motion has an effect. The take-away: don’t wave your arms around, instead hold one direction and snap to the other right before the shot; and don’t jump up randomly, instead jump up right before the shot. This is how I learned the distractions and how they should be done.

Stand up!
If you’re in the student section, the only time you should sit down after the game starts is at half time. No exceptions. It’s tradition. Nothing says feeble and disinterested like a bunch of people sitting down as soon as a timeout is called. Show the players you care about the effort they’re putting forth by putting forth some minimal effort on your own part.

Watch the game
(5a) A KU basketball game is a perfect place to live in the moment. I get it, everyone and their mom has a hungry Instagram account, but hold off on it until play stops. You could be missing the dunk of the year while you send off a text. (5b) Don’t leave the game early. This comment is more pertinent to GA’ers, but it needs to be said nonetheless. (5c) Don’t hold up your poster while the clock is running; you’re obstructing the views of others. I love a cleverly crafted poster, but save them for timeouts and other clock stoppages—that’s when the cameras might find you anyway.

Learn the clap and the alma mater
Regarding the clap: I was a freshman once too; I understand that the rhythm is difficult. We all mess it up sometimes. But please, please, PLEASE make an effort to listen to the band and DON’T speed up the tempo! That’s why we get off and it sounds like a mess. Pedant alert—the word “towards” is not in the alma mater. It’s “toward.” Same with “onward.” Fun fact: the -s versions are British English. You wouldn’t write “colour” would you? There’s an awesome page that has the alma mater and clap and examples. So give it a listen if you’re shaky on it!

I have listed these issues roughly according to their relative importance. If none of these things happen, Allen Fieldhouse will be pretty awesome, but I think making these changes would propel the quality of our support for the team to unprecedented levels. Rock Chalk!

  • Updated Nov. 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm
  • Josh D

    YES YES YES ALL OF THIS. Thank you so much for writing this.

  • Pete

    I have never seen so many airplanes thrown as well. wtf? hopefully fans will use the power of peer pressure to end some of this.

  • JB

    Not nearly enough vitriol towards the people who yell home of the Chiefs at the end of the anthem. This Allen Fieldhouse, not Arrowhead. You came to watch the Jayhawks, not the Chiefs. It doesn’t even make sense, you sound like complete and utter morons, it’s not appreciated by 90% of the crowd, nor the coach or the players, so stop doing it.

    • lol


  • MsWright

    Thank you, this needs to pick up steam again. I’d even back off my ‘blue on game days only’ neurosis to never hear HOTC in AFC ever again.