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Student support must increase

Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, January 12, 2005

This past Monday’s men’s basketball game should have been a truly eye-opening experience.

I am not only referring to the fact that the Irish competed well in a tough fought battle against one of the best teams in the nation. More importantly, I want to bring attention to the state of our students’ spirit.

The blame for this loss does not mainly rest with the referees, the coaches, or the players. Monday night the Fighting Irish exhibited the greatest amount of heart and hustle so far this year. Instead, the brunt of the blame rests with the Passive Irish – the students.

So far this year the student section at the men’s games has been pitiful at best. The turnout for the recent game against the Orange was easily the best so far this year. Even more “impressively,” the entire student section was standing for the whole game. These facts, though, should be given for every game.

Although there were plenty of students at the game wearing green, how many were truly supporting their school and team being the best Irish fan possible?

Supposedly the ideal Notre Dame fan is one on the floor in the true Leprechaun Legion. This bunch surely was on a level above the rest of the student section, but that should not be taken as too high of a compliment. Everyone who is down there should be constantly jumping, pounding on the risers, and cheering nonstop whether the Irish are up or down by an incredible margin.

It is inconceivable as to why someone would wait outside the JACC spending an entire day freezing out in the cold simply to stand by idly, arms folded, and remain utterly silent as the Irish give their all battling on the hardwood.

The Legion should not be scrutinized alone, but the entire student section is accountable for the lack of spirit. Every student in attendance should be hoarse and sweating after the first minute of play due to excessive cheering.

During the entire game the JACC should be deafening. It is an embarrassment when a handful of visitors clad in orange who are shoved up in the rafters can silence the student section.

The most saddening display of all, though, is the masses of students that leave before the final note of the alma mater has been played, only further demonstrating the true nature of such alleged Notre Dame fans.

All of this, however, does not need to remain as it is. We should not be placing blame elsewhere until we look at ourselves. The JACC should be one of the most feared and hated arenas for visiting teams not only because of the talented Fighting Irish, but even more so because of its spirited student section.

Hopefully the student section will undergo a vast improvement by this Saturday and show St. John’s how intimidating Irish fans can be.

Lee C. Regner


O’Neill Hall

Jan. 12