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Wave hurts experience

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, November 17, 2005

Like most students at the University of Notre Dame, I spent last Saturday afternoon cheering the Fighting Irish on to their commanding victory over Navy. However, early in the fourth quarter I was shocked, dismayed and physically sickened as students in my section started performing “The Wave.” This sad excuse for a cheer is detrimental to the Notre Dame football experience for many reasons.

It is no coincidence that the last three times fans in Notre Dame Stadium have engaged in wave-like cheers, the Irish offense has failed to convert on third down. As many of us learned from a very informative Jumbotron at Purdue, the time to be loud and obnoxious is when the team you like is on defense. Brady Quinn has the overwhelming responsibility of not only maintaining two of the most beautiful and muscular arms in the world, but also of running a precision offense under the scrutiny of a national audience; the last thing he needs is 80,000 fans taunting his peripheral vision by leaping to their feet in a semi-choreographed manner, cheering loudly for a mildly amusing visual display. As gracious fans, the least we can do is avoid distracting our faithful team as they march onward to victory.

Also, the initiation and performance of “The Wave” takes a lot of strategic planning, communication and teamwork. If there’s anything I’ve learned from two years of business classes, it’s that anything that begins with careful planning and teamwork is never fun or worthwhile. While advocates of “The Wave” are busy coaxing thousands of people to stand up on command, they’re missing an essential part of any football Saturday: the football. Many people would pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars to sit in the student section for one exciting game between two rival college football programs. I am disappointed in my fellow students that do not find the battle on the gridiron exciting enough to divert attention from a cheap spectacle like “The Wave.”

Dan KeoughjuniorO’Neill Nov. 16