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Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Cardinal Couple - Fan Traditions

Fan Traditions

I have long been a Cardinal fan, and I've long been a Volleyball fan.  No news here.  But one thing that has always dismayed me about attending UofL games is the seeming lack, compared to other athletic departments, of fan traditions.  Now, don't get me wrong, there are a lot of UofL traditions, but what I'm speaking of here is, at least in most sports, the lack of coordinated fan responses to events on the field/floor/court.

Most of my roadtrip experience is for volleyball matches, but I have done some travel for Women's Basketball games as well and one of the things that I've noticed, at the powerhouse and long established programs, is the crowd response to various events that happen on the field of play.  In most cases, it seems that most of this crowd response is driven by the student sections in crowds, and sometimes by the pep band.  Our pep band does its part..."You've gotta Hit. The ball. Over. The net!" when an opposing volleyball server hits the ball into or under the net...singing "Hey Jude" anytime Jude Schimmel had a highlight play....and others.  But we do lack a coherent student section at many of the less mainstream sporting events, even Women's Basketball doesn't seem to get a great deal of support from students, and other than athletes from other sports, or at big rivalry matches, there is essentially no student section at volleyball matches.

I think some of why we don't have more of these types of traditions is due to the relative youthfulness of our athletic program in general.  Compared to some of the big-name programs in the country, UofL Athletics is still young, and perhaps hasn't had the time to develop these sorts of responses.

And, I don't want to throw UofL students under the bus, here.  I would love to see the student body
more fully support the less mainstream sports, and perhaps the availability of more sporting events being seen on the new ACC Network Extra starting next month will help spur some more interest in the various sports, but I think we, the non-student fans, can start to establish some of these traditions if we work at it.  I'm proud to be something of a caretaker to the tradition, started by Kevin Welch (father of Caitlin Welch, Libero extraordinaire) of doing the C-A-R-D-S cheer when the opposing volleyball team calls a timeout.  I think this is a tradition that could be spread to other sports as well.  That's a start, but how about some sort of chant or quick response for a big block at the net, or a service ace?  These are events in the competition that could easily trigger a quick crowd response, and that fan involvement is big motivation for the players.  These sorts of events that could be a trigger for a crowd response happen in all sports, it's just a matter of identifying them and settling on some sort of crowd cheer or chant for them.

Can we come up with some ideas for crowd responses to actions on the field of play?  What say you.  Let's hear some ideas.  If I, a shy, reserved, extremely introverted kinda guy, can make the decision to jump up and lead half the crowd in the C-A-R-D-S cheer, you all can do it as well.

-- JMcA


  1. I am not a rah rah type of sports fan, preferring a more analytical and contemplative viewing with an occasional attempt at a zinger if appropriate. Having said that, I think your idea has a lot of merit. Unfortunately for me, I am not a really creative kind of guy but certainly would participate in such. Good luck and keep on keeping on.

  2. The Red/Black chant on either side of the arena/venue never has taken off like the Blue/White yell Kentucky has. You need to pick it up.

    Matthew Mitchell for Governor

    1. Not a big fan of it, since I sit in the end zone for football and I'm conflicted on which way to yell. One chant I do miss is the "Go Cards Beat Purdue!" There is, of course a story to it.

      It was in Freedom Hall many moons ago and Louisville was playing men's basketball against Florida State. A cheer started behind the benches (GO!) It moved to the north end zone (CARDS!). Then to the side across from the benches (BEAT) and finally the student section end zone (PURDUE!)

      What!?! Well, a cheerleader had forgotten to replace the Purdue sign she held up with a Florida State sign. It went around two more times before they finally got her the Florida State board. By then it was too late. The students screamed PURDUE!

      The tradition held until the cheer squad dropped that particular cheer. It was great fun to see the expressions on the visiting team, coaches, few fans and cheerleaders when they heard the entire student section scream PURDUE!

      It is rumored a notable Marquette player muttered while coming back on the floor after the cheer was finished and the timeout over to a UofL player..

      "You $%@#&* !@#$%&# sure must hate Purdue."

      It was refreshing to see it come it's correct form...when the UofL WBB squad hosted Purdue in the NCAA Tournament second round back in 2013. They should have brought the original cheerleader back that held the Purdue sign way back when...


    2. I know people make claims all the time but I was a student at UofL at the time and in the student section for that game. I also knew the cheerleader who held up the sign. She was perched on the shoulders of a male cheerleader and was baffled on why people were yelling Purdue.

    3. WE must beat Purdue. Anytime. Anywhere. Even when they aren't present.


    4. Never have figured out why u uh k fans spell cats once but say it three times. Also, only one syllable in cats but has multiple syllables when u uh k fans say it.

    5. Governor might be a good choice for Mitchell. He may not have a team left soon. Sorry, I'm a fan, but couldn't help myself.

    6. Say whatever you want about my mother but don't be knocking UK until we pull a win out our behind against them

  3. Cheer leaders need to be more active. Jeff, you may recall when we went to South Bend for women's basketball game, their cheer leaders were active throughout the game. And, during timer outs there did more than build pyramids. I think being on a spirit squad requires athletic ability and certainly commitment, don't get me wrong, but much of this starts there.

  4. It's notable that a lot of WNBA teams have a pro-active PA announcer that leads the crowd in chants and cheers. It is doubtful Sean Moth would ever do this but maybe a secondary announcer with a floor microphone could do it?

    1. There is a limitation based on competition rules between NCAA and WNBA. You also hear music being played during game play at the WNBA level, but not in college. The music has to be stopped during play at the college level by rule.

  5. What college has the most active players in the WNBA outside of UConn who currently has 15 players in the league?
    Answer: Duke 10
    Duke 10
    NC 5
    ND 5
    Louisville 2
    Fl St 2
    Pitt 1
    Wake Forest 1
    North Carolina St 1
    Ga Tech 1
    Boston College 1
    Virginia 1
    Syracuse 1

    Baylor only 2
    Just for Grins

  6. 22% of all WNBA players come from just 3 schools
    UConn Duke and Rutgers

  7. 20% of WNBA are from ACC


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