As Snoop Dogg once said, let’s take a journey loved ones, back to a time where the Nevada Basketball student section was at their peak. Before the Muss Bus, before ranked basketball squads, before Barstool Nevada’s Twitter ever popped off. When “Sweet Caroline” was a song people associated with the Boston Red Sox, and there were no relevant banners hanging in Lawlor Events Center.
This was the student section that knew to yell “Wolf Pack basketball!” following a turnover, and could recite the “Law of the Jungle” with their eyes closed. Students knew what to chant after free throws, and you never had to wait in line three hours before tip-off.
There are not many places in college where seniority rules, but when it comes to basketball – it should. If I have to see another freshman looking confused and not chanting during the “Law of the Jungle”, I will claw my eyes until they bleed. Not only are you an embarrassment to the student section you’re also a disgrace to the upperclassmen who could recite this in their sleep since attending freshmen orientation.
We were here before our basketball team was a top national team. We were here for the CBI Championship game – one of the best moments in my college career. We were here before all of the banners and the clout- when the student section was never full unless we were playing UNLV. When we were freshmen, we watched as Cameron Oliver, Lindsey Drew and Marcus Marshall held down this team while all of our current all-stars were forced to redshirt because of NCAA regulations.
While you were taking your practice SATs as a sophomore in high school, we had to sit through everyone’s judgment of a first-year coach trying new things, while trying to support Muss as much as we could. We screamed and we yelled, we cheered and we paid attention when our alumni (thank you so much) blessed us with Nevada basketball traditions. We accepted that student conduct in the student section had a reputation and we were to uphold it.
Now, as most of the class of 2019 prepares for their last home games in Lawlor, we are forced to listen to all of you sing an off-key version of “Sweet Caroline” and try not to cringe when you believe every single basket deserves recognition. We know you’re the generation of participation trophies, but back in our day, we made sure our players knew their efforts were worthy of recognition.
Traditions change, and we’re always open to adding more. We’ve embraced the “Muss Bus” and we have gotten used to your “Jumbo Jack” chants during free throws. We’ve adapted to your new light show obsession, and have even accepted that we have to wait in lines for the student section so the least you can do is learn to love the traditions we have grown up with.
I don’t care if you have to study the “Law of the Jungle” harder than you studied for your statistics midterm – learn the lyrics, learn the hand motions and embrace all of it.
People learn from their mistakes, and we can only hope you’ll turn your attitudes and recognition of tradition around before Jordan Caroline, Cody and Caleb Martin, Trey Porter, Corey Henson, and Tre’shawn Thurman play their last home game in Lawlor. Learn to appreciate YOUR Nevada student section, or move out of the way for people who will actually stand up all game.
Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or of its staff. Jacey Gonzalez studies journalism and can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.