This archived article was written by: Austin Ashcraft
I am a proud eagle. I believe that I attend the best institution in the state. I try to support as best I can. I go to activities, I am involved in clubs, and I attend the games. I have enjoyed the time that I have spent watching our teams play their hardest. There is a great atmosphere in the BDAC when the Golden Eagles take the floor, and we have been privileged to have a very successful men’s basketball season in particular.
I recently read a blog that talked about the difference between the Scream Team and the baseball team, which for the men’s games this season, have sat by themselves off to the side. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the baseball team. I know many of them personally, and they are great guys. They are great athletes, and I am excited to go to their games and cheer them on. They are Golden Eagles just as much as any of us, and they deserve our support. Yet one player on the baseball team voicing his opinion has cast a negative light on the team. If one of your own is willing to sacrifice your image as a team and as representatives of our school in order to secure a platform for his own personal politics, what does that say about your team? Please understand that some things I mention might not apply to all. These are mere observations. If what I say does not apply to you, please don’t be offended, as that is not my intention.
My goal when I go to a game is to cheer for our team. If another student feels that the best thing he/she can do to help our team is to heckle the other team, then be my guest. I have seen how our players thrive when our student section is loud and energetic. Gerold Brooks, CSI’s point guard, told his school newspaper prior to their game that they “were going to whoop” us. So we made a point, more than usual, to get in his head. Anyone denying that the Scream Team got inside his head and affected his game was obviously not paying attention. Trust me, I watched. Brooks came out on fire, but with about 9:00 minutes left in the first half, Brooks looked at us, right at me on the front row (not at the baseball team, mind you), and you could tell by the look on his face that we were in his head. And he’s not the only one. It happens regularly.
Now before I get too far ahead of myself, let me say this. I am grateful to live in America where we have the right and the ability to express our opinions. You don’t have to agree with me. That is your right. I listened as you expressed your opinion, and I would appreciate if you extend the same courtesy to me. To the baseball team I say this: You guys are good, but you’re not the only ones. First thing, you were not at every home game. Maybe a handful of you were, but the whole team as you say? I have to disagree. And where were you for the women’s games? What about volleyball games? Admittedly, attendance to those games could have been better from scream team and baseball team alike. And to say that the scream team does not have the basketball smarts? Low blow. I can name at least a dozen scream team members off the top of my head that are at your level of basketball knowledge or higher. Just because you are also student athletes does not make you omniscient when it comes to sports. If your girlfriend doesn’t understand how to figure out your ERA, or what a slugging percentage is, does that mean she should not cheer for you? Most of the cheering is about school pride and supporting the team. Maybe I don’t know every technical rule of the game. So what? I am another voice in support.
You say you are there to “yell as loud as possible and say the nastiest things to get in the opponents head.” I agree with the second, but not the first. You said some nasty stuff. You are completely correct on that point. But yelling as loud as possible? I don’t think so. If that’s your goal, you need to speak up, son. The only things I hear you yell are obscenities, profanity, and other things that are completely inappropriate. I know that emotions run high, but honestly, guys? You are a representative of our school, and I don’t appreciate the image that you are portraying as a USU-Eastern Golden Eagle. That is not what I want my school to represent.
You claim that an opposing player called you clever. Show me how clever you are using words that are more than four letters. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t know of many who do. To say that you want us to yell things that “would make the parents at the game put ear muffs on their kids” – really? I have been flat out ashamed of some of the things that have been said this past season. Sure you and your buddies might laugh about that later, but have some class. It’s time to grow up. Do you see A-Rod standing court side at a Knicks game shouting obscenities at Kevin Durant? I think not. Think about what type of an example you are setting for those young kids who look up to you as athletes. My mom has a saying on the wall at my house – “What shouldn’t be heard by little ears should not be said by big mouths.” Touché, mom.
I have heard that one time last year people started complaining about the baseball team’s language, and that the baseball coach told them to stay silent at the next game. Midway through the basketball game, apparently the basketball coach yelled at the baseball team. The coach, I dare say, was not upset that you were not swearing up a storm. He was upset that you were not cheering. And what about the time last year when you got a technical foul for your language? Were you doing all you could to help the team win then, too? There is a happy medium. Believe it or not, you CAN actually speak without using profanity. It is possible, and if you learn the habit now, you might have a decent chance at a good career later on in your life.
The fact that you don’t want to associate with the scream team because some person called YOU clever is completely ridiculous. That’s like saying you don’t want to be on the baseball team because YOU hit the home run. That obviously means that you are far better than the entire team and you do not even need to play with them any more, right? Wrong. How ridiculous do you think it looked to have a student section where the scream team was sitting, and another section where another group of students was doing the same thing? What does that tell the other team? Do the same things you’ve been doing, but scoot over toward the middle ten feet. It’s not that much. You are still in prime position to make an impact when they are trying to score in the second half, as you explained. You accomplish the exact same result, and the students are seen as a united body, albeit using different cheering techniques. Everybody wins.
Ultimately, it is the players who win the game, and they should be given the credit for that, but everyone who was at the game, whether playing, cheering, or watching, was part of the victory for our team. What makes our gym rock truly is, as you said, the baseball team, “with the help of the scream team, life time fans, old alumni, and other students.” The BDAC was a great place for our teams to play, and we all had a part of that. Heckling the other team is great, and it works, but someone needs to cheer FOR our team, not just against the opponent. And I hope that next year the Scream Team and the “ruthless fans” CAN join together, but there is no way that I am going to “yell what you yell”, as you suggest. I have more class than that.