The Georgetown men’s basketball team showed both heart and class on the floor in its win against West Virginia on Sunday. The Georgetown student section should have been taking notes. Game after game, I find myself surrounded by offensive, uncreative drunks who don’t support the team at all.

Against the Mountaineers, I sat four chairs away from a guy who thought it would be a good idea to kick the hell out of the MCI Center’s seats every time the Hoyas turned the ball over in the second half. The kid behind me wouldn’t stop yelling “Sal-ly, Sal-ly,” every time West Virginia forward Tyrone Sally touched the ball, proving once and for all that Georgetown students can, in fact, read the names off the backs of opposing players’ jerseys. Congratulations.

Of course, no Georgetown game would be complete without the requisite chant of, “The ref beats his wife,” which demonstrates just how classy we Hoya fans can be. Of course, this cheer often went up when a Georgetown player had clearly committed an infraction. I guess when you have three six-dollar Bud Lights in your bag, it’s tough to comprehend what’s actually happening on the hardwood.

The only thing worse than the Georgetown fans’ collective lack of creativity and basketball knowledge is their pessimism. Against South Carolina, for example, the drunk to my left, cheered on by his buddies, shouted “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? You suck!” at the team whenever it failed to convert on the offensive end. On Sunday, the student section never failed to jeer whenever a Hoya player missed an open shot, turned the ball over or missed a rebound.

Victor Samnick pulling down a tough offensive rebound, however, apparently merits only weak applause. When the Hoyas trapped the ountaineers in the backcourt, forcing them to burn a timeout, the students barely moved. Although well-deserved cheers for Mike Sweetney could be heard late in the game, the majority of comments I heard about the players’ personal abilities were negative, which is completely unacceptable, considering how hard the team has played this season.

Last Wednesday, I went to Durham for the Duke game and sat in the Blue Devils’ student section, which was a completely different experience. Sure, there were a couple of inebriated morons there as well, as there are at every sporting event, but they didn’t dominate the evening. That’s because someone on the Duke campus has taken the time to create innovative, original cheers before the season. You see, if you give college students something to chant other than “Lets Go Hoyas,” and “De-fense,” they’re less likely to try to make up cheers on the spot, which are often idiotic.

The general public would certainly appreciate a little more class from Georgetown students. The Associated Press recap of the Duke game mentioned the students’ cheer of “Three refs, no clue.” If the game had been at MCI Center, the Georgetown fans’ cheer would have been unprintable. Two seasons ago, in this newspaper, Craig Esherick politely asked the students to tone down the swearing and the name-calling. We graciously ignored him.

The problem is not that Georgetown students are intrinsically evil or stupid. More or less, the same kids that apply to Duke are the same kids that apply to Georgetown and vice versa. The problem is that nobody is leading the students at men’s basketball games. Sure, some people start the “Hoya Saxa” cheer, and others exhort students to raise their hands before foul shots. That’s nice. Real leadership, however, means injecting new and innovative ideas to the student section, and that just isn’t happening.

The solution to this problem is simple: someone – Hoya Blue, listen up – needs to compile innovative, game-specific cheers before each match begins. The Duke basketball report has been doing this for years and making otherwise ordinary Duke students look smart in the process. By simply creating an email address where students can send their thoughts, taking the time to select the best ideas, then using a little bit of its budget at the Lauinger photocopier, Hoya Blue could improve students’ experiences at the games exponentially. Seems easy enough, right? Well, last season I suggested this to the head of basketball for Hoya Blue, and nothing happened. So I’m suggesting it again, in public this time, and if there are no results by the UCLA game I will put this incredibly simple, effortless idea into action myself. Bottom line, someone has got to lead the student section.

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