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Re: student section

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:36 am

VillaGorilla wrote:I blame rising admission standards [only half-kidding].
Clearly this alone shouldn't prevent us from succeeding as a student section. However, there are many students who opt to study on Thursday nights rather than go to games. Should it be that way? No. It is a reality though and a significant hurdle that will need to be overcome to build up this fanbase.

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Re: student section

Post by Woodless! on Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:53 am

As an alum from the 70s asked me on Thursday night 'are Quaaludes popular again these days?'

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Re: student section

Post by onetouchfutbol on Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:52 am

ShipstadPilot11 wrote:
VillaGorilla wrote:I blame rising admission standards [only half-kidding].
Clearly this alone shouldn't prevent us from succeeding as a student section. However, there are many students who opt to study on Thursday nights rather than go to games. Should it be that way? No. It is a reality though and a significant hurdle that will need to be overcome to build up this fanbase.

I'm fine with having some students opting to study instead of attending games. I don't think that sports should come before studying. What the school needs to continue to do is get graduates to attend the games in addition to students. It doesn't make sense for some of us bloggers who watch the majority of games via live streaming to critique how the students are doing. The graduates need to show up at more games and organize too.

I'd also love to see the students who do attend engage in "the hop" before games and be a little more involved when the opponent is at the free throw line. But, the reality is that it's going to take a few years to build this thing, and we're going to be at a disadvantage to teams that have built long-term success (like 10 straight conference championships) or have bigger enrollments. But, we're moving in the right direction and when better athletes come to campus like Kevin Bailey and Cason, we'll figure it out.

In the meantime, is there anyway to discourage some people from sitting in Egypt? It's weird to see a game on tv with open seats down near the court and fans (both students and graduates) sitting near the rafters of the Chiles.

Basketball

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Re: student section

Post by Woodless! on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:29 am

There are a ton of students who opt to sit in the GA bleacher section adjacent to the student section...not sure what that's all about.

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Re: student section

Post by DaTruRochin on Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:10 am

Snarky philosophical question: Is anyone really leading if nobody follows?

It seems to me if people care enough to sit in the first few rows, they aren't the ones that need leading... It just frustrates me because a good student section CAN actually affect the game, especially in a relatively close contest, against a young opponent like the Dons we faced on Thursday.

I don't claim to have the solution, but it seems to me that people need to start now to ensure the same problems continue. When it comes to a college hoops atmosphere the student section is one of those make or break concepts that has an effect on the entire game experience for all in attendance. It's pretty clear there is something very broken and I sincerely hope efforts are made to rectify the issue.

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Re: student section

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:51 pm

I may have mentioned it elsewhere but before tip-off on Thursday I ran through the student section (higher up) and told people that we were on national television and begged them to move down and make noise. Some did; most didn't. People are apathetic. It doesn't help that I'm not a great motivator but I don't even know what it would take (save alcohol) to motivate folks.

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Re: student section

Post by PilotNut on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:24 pm

The students were better tonight, good turn out numbers-wise, and some noise/organization... until the final 4 minutes, when they just turned off... I was disgusted by the lack of effort, passion and organization to close out the game.

On every defensive possession in the last 4 minutes (no exaggeration), long before the outcome was decided, the students just stopped. Nothing. Just there occupying space. Not even the big "D" and "fence" signs were up. WTF? Evil or Very Mad Seriously, go back watch the game film... sad.

And having Rev have to tell you when to make noise? Embarassed Wow, I hope we can get this figured out before next season because it is really a shame.

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Re: student section

Post by dholcombe on Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:32 pm

PilotNut wrote:The students were better tonight, good turn out numbers-wise, and some noise/organization... until the final 4 minutes, when they just turned off... I was disgusted by the lack of effort, passion and organization to close out the game.

On every defensive possession in the last 4 minutes (no exaggeration), long before the outcome was decided, the students just stopped. Nothing. Just there occupying space. Not even the big "D" and "fence" signs were up. WTF? Evil or Very Mad Seriously, go back watch the game film... sad.

And having Rev have to tell you when to make noise? Embarassed Wow, I hope we can get this figured out before next season because it is really a shame.

I thought they were doing a decent job the first half today, not good, but tolerable average for most programs I think. The second half though....dunno what was different, maybe their meds wore off, but they were back to sitting on their hands, metaphorically speaking. Even before the last 4 minutes. It's great somebody is going to the effort to bring or provide the D and "fence" signs, but some games I see them there and they don't get used a single time. Maybe we can send the dance team up and down the student section to motivate people next year when they aren't busy dancing.

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Re: student section

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:20 am

dholcombe wrote:I thought they were doing a decent job the first half today, not good, but tolerable average for most programs I think. The second half though....dunno what was different, maybe their meds wore off, but they were back to sitting on their hands, metaphorically speaking. Even before the last 4 minutes. It's great somebody is going to the effort to bring or provide the D and "fence" signs, but some games I see them there and they don't get used a single time. Maybe we can send the dance team up and down the student section to motivate people next year when they aren't busy dancing.
The "D" and "Fence" are provided (like the players' heads) from the Athletic Department. I am sick and my voice was gone before halftime (my voice was squeaking like a 13 year old), but I tried. I left the game today in a bad mood because I didn't think we did justice to the seniors. We should have been louder. We should/could have been better.

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Re: student section

Post by MesaPilot1 on Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:27 am

I went to a Portland Pilot game and a "Pilot Riot" broke out...all 6 guys in the front row with their scientific calculators in hand.....lol

BTW, I MESA appreciate "long distance" opinions from former purple pride alum....if one cannot learn from past history of student organizations (successes,& failures) what do they have as a guideline?

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Re: student section

Post by dholcombe on Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:32 am

ShipstadPilot11 wrote:
dholcombe wrote:I thought they were doing a decent job the first half today, not good, but tolerable average for most programs I think. The second half though....dunno what was different, maybe their meds wore off, but they were back to sitting on their hands, metaphorically speaking. Even before the last 4 minutes. It's great somebody is going to the effort to bring or provide the D and "fence" signs, but some games I see them there and they don't get used a single time. Maybe we can send the dance team up and down the student section to motivate people next year when they aren't busy dancing.
The "D" and "Fence" are provided (like the players' heads) from the Athletic Department. I am sick and my voice was gone before halftime (my voice was squeaking like a 13 year old), but I tried. I left the game today in a bad mood because I didn't think we did justice to the seniors. We should have been louder. We should/could have been better.

There's only so much you personally can do sometimes. It's good that there are people out there still trying, eventually somethings got to stick. Student attendance has been up from what I can tell, so its possible there are more casual butts in the seats who are afraid they'll look silly cheering all game. Maybe next year if there are enough crazy leaders we can get a more dedicated group of fans about halfway up the student section to motivate the top half in addition to the ones down front. Of course anybody that dedicated is going to want to be down front every game rather than halfway up the stands motivating the apathetic back half of the section.

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Re: student section

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:13 pm

PilotNut wrote:The students were better tonight, good turn out numbers-wise, and some noise/organization... until the final 4 minutes, when they just turned off... I was disgusted by the lack of effort, passion and organization to close out the game.
That's a little harsh. Did you see how they all danced to "Party In the USA"? They loved the t-shirt toss too. Bunch of NBA fans.

It's sad to see this school is going to produce a bunch of sports customers instead of sports fans.

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Re: student section

Post by ekrauss on Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:03 pm

I live in the East and haven't been to a Pilots game in many years, so I don't know what our students are like compared to others. However, I have worked in college and university settings for most of the past 20 years and I think students in general have changed a great deal since many of the people in this forum were in school. Students just don't display school spirit any more. In fact, it's hard to get a substantial portion of students off their wireless devices. And I think the students who are really into intercollegiate athletics attend the big state schools.

One question for folks on the forum. Are there still groups like TAP and the unofficial "fraternities" on campus at UP? When I was a student on the Bluff in the early 80s, these groups seemed to spearhead a lot of the school spirit. And quite frankly, in the early 80s, lots of the rules weren't enforced on campus, so basketball games were linked to the kind of "pre-functions" that aren't allowed today.

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Re: student section

Post by VillaGorilla on Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:48 pm

PurplePrideTrumpet wrote:
PilotNut wrote:The students were better tonight, good turn out numbers-wise, and some noise/organization... until the final 4 minutes, when they just turned off... I was disgusted by the lack of effort, passion and organization to close out the game.
That's a little harsh. Did you see how they all danced to "Party In the USA"? They loved the t-shirt toss too. Bunch of NBA fans.

It's sad to see this school is going to produce a bunch of sports customers instead of sports fans.

As hard as I've been on the students, in their defense, the Pilots had been up 17 and had turned it into a desparation foul-and-hope-they-miss-their-free-throws contest. And they still have triple the student turnout that we had when I was a student in the early 00s.

But it's still not an excuse for the overall lack of spirit. I just watched the replay on Comcast, and there was no atmosphere. It was great to see Chiles packed (3800+ for a non-marquee game!), though we have a ways to go in getting the students into it.

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Re: student section

Post by onetouchfutbol on Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:51 pm

ekrauss wrote:I live in the East and haven't been to a Pilots game in many years, so I don't know what our students are like compared to others. However, I have worked in college and university settings for most of the past 20 years and I think students in general have changed a great deal since many of the people in this forum were in school. Students just don't display school spirit any more. In fact, it's hard to get a substantial portion of students off their wireless devices. And I think the students who are really into intercollegiate athletics attend the big state schools.

One question for folks on the forum. Are there still groups like TAP and the unofficial "fraternities" on campus at UP? When I was a student on the Bluff in the early 80s, these groups seemed to spearhead a lot of the school spirit. And quite frankly, in the early 80s, lots of the rules weren't enforced on campus, so basketball games were linked to the kind of "pre-functions" that aren't allowed today.

Well, those unofficial frats still existed when I was a student too, however, the basketball teams were consistently horrible. I still attribute this to a lack of success in the '90s...

We are just starting to establish the kind of success that puts our name out there, and we're just starting to get the types of recruits who can really turn our program around too. I think we're gradually transitioning this team from a team that always wins on high basketball IQ to a team that sometimes wins with athleticism. Unfortunately, athleticism brings in more fans than basketball IQ. But, whether you thought that your class of students at UP had the best fans or not, you cannot deny the fact that we're in the process of building something bigger here. And I would bet that when we have players like Kevin Bailey and Cason on campus dunking the ball, more bandwagon fans are going to take notice in addition to students....

I say enjoy the moment. Enjoy the fact that it's still easy to get a ticket to most games...

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Re: student section

Post by Stonehouse on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:57 pm

OK, I'll pitch in here a bit.

First off, the season is over, and it's not really worth gnashing teeth over some of this stuff. Yes, I agree things could be better, but when could things not be better in pretty much every aspect of life? The students continue to show up in huge numbers, and (as I suspected they would) once conference play came around with its much more student-friendly Thu/Sat schedule, there was always some good energy from the kids - a lot more so than from any other section in the Chiles Center, anyway.

So they should be commended for that.

Now, on how things can improve a bit... for a few years in a row now, I've met with students and explained to them how we created Purple Pride and how we made it successful. And let's be honest - it's not rocket science. Shirts + kegs + people who know how to cheer during basketball games = great student section.

They always seem to be into it at the beginning, but then they fall short. I really don't understand what the sticking point is, but it seems to me like perhaps the leadership pool isn't big enough and the commitment isn't deep enough.

No pre-game parties before some Thursday night games? That's just not OK. If you're going to be leading the student support, you've got to go all the way. And sure, if one or two of the guys have a big paper or test on Friday (it happened to us Purple Pride guys sometimes too), there were plenty of other people to pick up the slack.

So... I think it's beyond help, really, until the right mix of kids shows up again. We were lucky when Purple Pride exploded - we had 13 or 14 guys who all pitched in and committed (i.e. put in a not insignificant sum of our own money) to make things better. And it worked.

The athletics marketing office has done an amazing job of getting students to games - there are probably twice as many students going to games now as when Purple Pride was in its heyday. What isn't happening, and what can only happen with the right student leadership, is the full on engagement and commitment it takes to really make the CC a loud, rowdy, and hostile environment.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I'm over trying to analyze it and scratch at "what's wrong." All the elements are in place: there is great support from the administration, there is a winning team, the players and coaches are doing more fan outreach than ever before... the only thing that is lacking is the right mix of student leaders.

Now I don't mean to disparage any of the kids that are currently there and who I know put their heart and soul into cheering like DJ Sherman and ShipstadPilot11. You guys are awesome. But to make things like they were 5-6 years ago, what you need are 3 or 4 houses full of guys that are all well-connected and have a broad base of friends. Get all those guys to pitch in some cash to buy some shirts and get the ball rolling; put the ones with some sales moxy in them to work; buy some kegs; have 2 or 3 guys who know what the heck they're doing lead the cheers; and watch the magic unfold.

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Re: student section

Post by Rochin54 on Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:09 am

Bring tear to eye Sad

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Re: student section

Post by purpleman12 on Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:35 pm

As one of the leaders of the current student section I will say that while I do think what we had going for us this year was ok and not great I am also starting to get a little frustrated with everyone constantly yearning for more. While it kills me to see the standard game day environments of the big time schools on ESPN and want to have something like that at Chiles on a regular basis I know chances are good it will never happen. Pilot Riot I would say was a huge success this year, especially considering the fact that we started everything from scratch just before the season started. More students regularly attended games then ever had before but the next problem we have to overcome is how to have a crowd that actually knows what is going on.The seats were filled for the majority of games but the atmosphere wasn't what it should be for most games. Gonzaga and St. Mary's games being the exception, there was very little energy felt outside of the first 5-6 rows.
But for the most part that is going to be the uncomfortable reality of pilot athletics. The students can easily get up for the big time games and are loud and obnoxious but a lot of UP students are just observers and they are more there for the spectacle rather than the game itself. For those in here who keep saying well Duke has a demanding academic workload and they have some of the craziest fans in the nation...STOP! If we were a nationally ranked powerhouse I guarantee that we would be able to fill up Chiles every game and it would be nuts but the reality of the situation is that we are not at that level yet. Maybe we will get there someday but for now I just want to salute the guys who worked with me in creating Pilot Riot and hopefully building the foundation for an even better season next year. All year we have heard that we have no energy and are too reactionary (find me a student section that is not reactionary and then we will talk) but I feel like we had some of the loudest most energy filled crowds this season than at any point during the previous 4 seasons. I know a lot of work was put into it and while some students bought in and others didn't, Pilot Riot will continue on stronger next year.

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Re: student section

Post by up7587 on Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:56 pm

pm12, thank you for your efforts! Cheers!

Lots of students have never cared about sports, and nothing is different now than it was in the '70's. A consistent winner and a fun atmosphere will draw more students to the game beyond the core who will come no matter how good, or bad, the team is doing (been there, done that). Hopefully the players continue to relate to the rest of the student body positively, and the students return the favor. Look forward to your efforts next year.

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Re: student section

Post by PilotNut on Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:41 pm

Thanks for the note, PM12... and yes the students were often there in number this season, particularly during WCC play and the GU, SMC & SCU games. That is no small task that has been accomplished, and you guys have done a great job in that regard... and I really think the rest of the work ahead is the easier part of the task: Knowing when the crowd and students are needed. I just have some observations from watching games from behind the UP bench for many years, so here are some of my thoughts (these apply to the whole crowd, too, not just the students... but the students are the ones that set the tone):

If we can now also get consistent leadership of the students in place during the games, that is the next step... I vented earlier about the last 4 minutes of the SCU game and the way that the students just seemed to shut down, after being loud for the previous 36 minutes... someone needs to lead the group during the game and know when to "crank it to 11"... we had some critical defensive possessions towards the end of the SCU game, and the students and crowd overall "should have" been making all kinds of noise, but weren't... not even the "De-Fense!" chants... The possession that sticks out was in the last couple minutes, where we were shutting them down defesively, the shot clock was winding down, and Rev was trying to get the students going... The place should have been rocking by that point, but wasn't. Student leadership needs to "know" and "sense" that to lead the crowd in the right direction.

Working on timing helps, too... starting the "De-Fense" chants 20 seconds into a possession is too late; by the time it catches on, you are 25-30 seconds in, and the offense has usually already shot or the posession is over... It would be awesome if the leadership could have the savvy to know to start that chant right away (before the ball even crosses half court!), so by the time it catches on, it makes a difference... Knowing which possessions are key (you can't go all out on every possession, we all know that), sensing when the team needs a lift, etc... the fine tuning job of being a leader.

I also really like the "Go!" "Pilots!" back and forth across the floor... but let's not waste that on a dead ball/time out situation... do that when the other team is shooting free throws or start it when coming out of the time out when we are on defense, to get the noise going right away, and mesh it right into another chant to really rattle the opposition... Maybe mix it up sometimes and do "Portland!" "Pilots!" back and forth.... or like at the soccer games where it is divided up further with "Go", "Portland" & "Pilots" utilizing the end zones. Instead of always chanting "De-Fense!", mix it up with the other standbys: "D-D-D-Defense", "Defense Pilots Defense!" and the slow clap that speeds up... Take notes during other games you watch on TV: what works? what doesnt?

Please take my thoughts as opportunities to further improve the student section & overall crowd experience... I appreciate the efforts of Pilot Riot; and we all want the same thing, and that is a bone-rattling crowd at Chiles. And we know that a large & raucous student section and crowd can really effect a game... I think a lively crowd in the USF game would have helped lift the Pilots and rattle the young Dons.

Again, well done on getting butts in seats... I understand that is no easy task that you have accomplished. I hope we can carry the momentum into next year.


Last edited by PilotNut on Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: student section

Post by Rochin54 on Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:05 pm

I echo Nut's thoughts really. Watching games from afar and having been to game sin Chiles for a long time, when the crowd is full and really into it, it gets LOUD. The GU and SMC games this year were perfect examples. I get that you are frustrated at the comments here (honestly, when I was a frosh and soph, we had approximately 5 people in the first row willing to make some noise. I get that you worked your butt off and poured your heart into it. You should be commended! And for that I, as well as the other folks here, would say:

Cheers!

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Re: student section

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:06 pm

Maybe the students don't make noise because they think it's rude, like the writers of this UConn editorial.

Since the beginning of the season back in November, when the starting lineup and coach for the opposing team are announced at the start of the game, the entire student section will turn their backs to the court, yelling "Sucks!" after each player's name is announced. This creates the effect of the sentence being, for example, "Marshon Brooks sucks!" which is not only rude, but completely false.
How do you know? Maybe he has twice as many TOs as assists and can't hit water when he's shooting out of a boat.

But student section behavior has taken a turn for the worse in the last few games, with the recently-developed practice of yelling as loudly as possible during timeouts. The goal is to drown out the sound of the opposing coach's speech to his players during the timeout, since the opposing team is always seated on the half of the court closest to the student section.
So more cowbell is out of the question, I presume.

Attempting to overpower the volume of the opposing coach during a timeout is an example [an] unfair disadvantage. If coach Jim Calhoun is able to speak to his players in a volume they can hear, the opposing coach should be able to do the same, without any disruption from the student section. With the men's basketball team ranked as the 14th-best team in the country in this week's Associated Press rankings, we should be able to beat most teams purely on the basis of our skill. No other factor should play a role when it comes to deciding which team triumphs at the end of the day.
lol! lol! lol!
Okay, this writer must be an intern at The Onion, right?

When something like this gets in the Beacon, I will be a happy Pilot fan indeed.

Hat tip to Rush the Court for finding this. Funniest thing I've read in weeks.

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Re: student section

Post by up7587 on Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:39 am

Oh my! How rude of those lads. Next thing you know they'll be scaring the polo ponies. Suspect

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Re: student section

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:51 am

purpleman12 wrote:I am also starting to get a little frustrated with everyone constantly yearning for more.
I read this and thought that it could easily be directed at me (at least in part), so I would like to clarify my thoughts a bit.

I think there were major steps forward taken this year and I've been impressed with the dedication of the Athletic Department and many student leaders who played a large role in bringing about that change. Pilot Riot had a good year and I hope and believe that they can find more consistency and improvement next year as they build on their success this year. I would liked to have been more involved with Pilot Riot (in any capacity) but certain situations prevented me from having those opportunities.

I have expressed negative thoughts about the student atmosphere over the course of the season (primarily during WCC play, I believe). Just because I would like to see certain traits exhibited by our student section doesn't mean that I expect to see them or that the lack of these traits represents a personal failure on the part of Pilot Riot or any individual. Pilot Riot made a noticeable impact on many games this year and their enthusiasm was much-needed.

Cheers! To growth, improvement and success of both the team and the fans!

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