Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

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Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by PilotNut on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:23 pm

There has been much talk on PN this season about the student section and the sometimes lacking environment at home games. Obviously a lot of what goes on is out of "our" control, like when dances are scheduled, etc.

So, my question to PN is this: What can we, as alums, season ticket holders, fans & forum lurkers do to help (1) the student section and (2) the overall fan atmosphere in Chiles?

Let's focus on actionable items within our control and/or influence.

Discuss... and even if you don't have ideas right away, your thoughts of "yes I like this idea" or "No, I dont think that is a good idea, but here is an alternative" are very much appreciated!


Last edited by PilotNut on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:28 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by PilotNut on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:29 pm

IMO, the best and easiest thing for us to do is to kick it up a notch in terms of making noise, standing up, etc... we cant just rely on the students to start up. Sometimes, we need to take initiative.

Actionable items within our control:

* We can start the Go! Pilots! chant (with a heads up to the students that it will happen, so they catch on quickly--SP11, this is something you can help with!).

* We can stand & clap when the fight song is played.

* More brainstorming: I have always felt that those of us sitting in the section behind the bench could have some sort of salute to Coach Rev... maybe even name the section something like Rev's Rowdies...

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:40 pm

One thing that I'd really like to see is fans making more noise during opponents' free throws. This is something that is easy and attainable; it doesn't even require coordination between anyone. Everyone just needs to yell or make noise during free throws. This would be a good start to having a quality home atmosphere.

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by dholcombe on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:41 pm

I think it would go a long way to helping if we could get a special section to get the people together who want to make some noise that are not students. It's hard to communicate to get anything going if we are spread out everywhere. We'd need the help of the administration/ticket sales to set up such a section and I don't know what to do about any long time season ticket holders that may already be sitting there. They are welcome to keep their seats and join in of course!

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by PilotNut on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:44 pm

ShipstadPilot11 wrote:One thing that I'd really like to see is fans making more noise during opponents' free throws. This is something that is easy and attainable; it doesn't even require coordination between anyone. Everyone just needs to yell or make noise during free throws. This would be a good start to having a quality home atmosphere.

Good point, and an easy fix. It has been better with the coordination of the video board "Make Noise" logo, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Do we have anyone on here who sits in the end zones, either floor or upper level? Getting some more arm waving would be great, too.

PPTrumpet: have they given you guidelines for behavior? I believe the dance team is limited on what they can do when sitting on the floor...?

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by blacksheep on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:06 pm

dholcombe wrote:I think it would go a long way to helping if we could get a special section to get the people together who want to make some noise that are not students. It's hard to communicate to get anything going if we are spread out everywhere. We'd need the help of the administration/ticket sales to set up such a section and I don't know what to do about any long time season ticket holders that may already be sitting there. They are welcome to keep their seats and join in of course!

I agree with a separate section. I always have an old guy yelling at me to sit down Mad

It's not without it's issues though. Nobody is going to want to sit behind this section, so there goes a couple rows of tickets that aren't going to be filled. Also, you are going to have to put it somewhere, and that is going to displace season ticket holders.

I would move to a special section, but it's not that easy of a choice. I have been going to games since I was a little kid, and it's always been a family event. That old guy who yells at me to sit down is my grandfather Very Happy


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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:07 pm

blacksheep wrote:I agree with a separate section. I always have an old guy yelling at me to sit down Mad

It's not without it's issues though. Nobody is going to want to sit behind this section, so there goes a couple rows of tickets that aren't going to be filled. Also, you are going to have to put it somewhere, and that is going to displace season ticket holders.

I would move to a special section, but it's not that easy of a choice. I have been going to games since I was a little kid, and it's always been a family event. That old guy who yells at me to sit down is my grandfather Very Happy
Very, very relevant points.

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by dholcombe on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:49 pm

Stick it right behind the opposing bench Wink Not many season ticket holders there.

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by DoubleDipper on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:50 pm

blacksheep wrote:That old guy who yells at me to sit down is my grandfather Very Happy
Your grandpa is NOT that old (relatively speaking). I used to think guys his age were old; now, not so much.

But, if he was Geez's age.................. clown

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by DoubleDipper on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:55 pm

dholcombe wrote:Stick it right behind the opposing bench Wink Not many season ticket holders there.
Oh man, some of us hear very little now, can you imagine sitting that close to the PPPB!!? Love the music, some of it stays in my head all week, or until the next game, but too close for what's left of my hearing. Shocked

Although, I do like being across from the student section...........

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by oldtimer on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:58 pm

I dont know if its possible but one thought would be to better group the fans once the game starts. I see a scattering of people in the upper levels (some really upper ) and a lot of empty seats on the main level. It would make for a better atmosphere and a more contagious enviornment if all the people in the upper levels could move down and fill in the empty seats.
Plus it would give a better look on TV (since a lot of games are on CSN) when the cameras pan around.

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by DoubleDipper on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:13 pm

oldtimer wrote: It would make for a better atmosphere and a more contagious environment if all the people in the upper levels could move down and fill in the empty seats.
That was done regularly during the games when the students were away; the end zone folks were moved into the student section. Good PR, and as you said, it looks better on TV. santa

I think the Athletic Department and ticket office would have a thing or two to say about people buying one price ticket and sitting in another price seat on a regular basis though………..

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by oldtimer on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:14 pm

I dont know what the "cheap seats" cost versus the others but it couldnt be too much difference or could it?

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by DTLegend on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:15 pm

Well this looks like a good place to write down a few ideas, voice some concerns.

First off, if you don't recognize my name it's because I have changed. I am the artist formally known as PurplePride13, but since I've graduated I've grown up to a different name.

Okay I understand that voicing concerns here is as they say "preaching to the choir" but I am going to anyway. Obviously the fan support has been an issue for a while, and getting a lot of support is a lot easier said than done.

Alright. Can I bring up an issue I have with the current organization of student fans for students. This may not be a popular point of view but it is what I perceived while I was a student on the bluff. I have an issue with the Villa Drum squad. I have an issue with the most passionate fan group being exclusive. does that make sense. When I was a freshman I lived in Corrado and loved it but I was jealous I could never be part of the drum squad without living in Villa. If you look at the Timber's army, it is the TIMBER'S ARMY not the Hawthorne Army or the St Johns Army, they represent the team, not a smaller sub group of the larger. I think that if there were an open group that was essentially the drum squad but open to all students that would be a help. Yeah I know this is a radical thought to break up the best aspect of student support, but with this new open format, also would come the new expectation to be a force at every basketball game.

On top of that, and this has been brought up here before, I think that this group could bring a soccer atmosphere to a basketball gym. One of the best student sections is at Utah State. If you haven't seen the youtube videos of their cheers check them out. They are incredibly creative and unique and that sets them apart. Could you imagine if we consistently had a couple hundred students all chanting/singing during the game. I think for this to happen, there needs to be more of a leadership tree if you will. It needs to be organized with passionate leaders who buy in to this vision. I really believe that if freshman came into Portland with knowing that they were one of the most unique student groups in the country that they would show up and be engaged.


On top of that, the current group Pilot Riot that has an impact at games has formed in the absence of the old purple pride to offer a pre game party aspect of the group. When done correctly in the past there have been dedicated students to shut down the keg and shuffle people to the door to get to the game on time. What if there were a way to have a sponsered event on campus or at the T room for students of age pregame with a shuttle to the game. I know that Gonzaga has post game parties at Jack and Dans for the Kennel Club so would something like that be possible?

I also think that if this group had a presence around campus other than at sporting events such as if they sponsored one or two events a year that had nothing to do sports, and/or did a community service event or two a year. Also, how cool would it be to have a huge barbeque at the one cross country meet that is in Portland. Get the drums and fans out there going nuts.

I know that this is a huge vision and to be honest I've been just rambling for a bit so I'm not sure if any of this even makes sense, and this could be years and years away but whats wrong with dreaming.

Am I completely insane to think this kind of stuff?

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by shallwemaui10 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:15 pm

just play better

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by PilotNut on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:26 pm

Thank you for the posts, everyone.

Let's keep in mind here that we (all of us reading this) can only manage what is within our control... Please keep that in mind when posting in this thread... What can WE (a.k.a. YOU) do to help?

Let's list SPECIFIC & ACTIONABLE items that WE can control. We cant very well point fingers elsewhere unless WE are doing our best.

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:43 pm

shallwemaui10 wrote:just play better
While there is always room to improve, 60 wins over 3 seasons is a pretty good record and it didn't seem to solve all of our problems...

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by DTLegend on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:44 pm

haha, Sorry, I guess this wasn't the right place to post that. Also, didn't mean to point fingers.

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by PilotDrummer on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:49 pm

DTLegend wrote:First off, if you don't recognize my name it's because I have changed. I am the artist formally known as PurplePride13, but since I've graduated I've grown up to a different name.

Alright. Can I bring up an issue I have with the current organization of student fans for students. This may not be a popular point of view but it is what I perceived while I was a student on the bluff. I have an issue with the Villa Drum squad. I have an issue with the most passionate fan group being exclusive. does that make sense. When I was a freshman I lived in Corrado and loved it but I was jealous I could never be part of the drum squad without living in Villa.

...just to address this real quick - I spent all four years living in Corrado and played with Villa at games for 3 of them. I don't believe that it's as exclusive as it seems. The discussion of the drum squad, its origins, and revival by Villa is for another time.

As far as what we, as fans control at basketball games:

1) Attitude. Heckling our coaches and our players probably doesn't belong in the arena. I understand frustration, and yelling "OH COME ON" or "WHY NOW?" at the bench is pretty classless. Goes for some of the fans who sit directly behind our bench at soccer matches, too. I'm in what I consider a tricky spot for 2 reasons. a) I'm in the band and so I have to watch what I say and do so as to not get Athletics overly angry at the group or me and b) I'm married to a member of the University staff. As a result anything I do can reflect on her so I have to conduct myself as if I'm a staff member too.

2) Noise. Make some! During opposing free-throws, on defense, the lot. I do what I can in the band, short of getting in trouble with the referees for banging cowbells/drums/etc. Bleachers are fair game and I've been known to hit THEM, however.

3) Stay until it's over. Send a message of "I always support the Pilots, not just when you win." I don't want to know what goes through the minds of coaches and players when their fans (students included) start heading for the exits before the game's over.

I haven't been around for many of the poor seasons in the last 25/30 years like many of you so I can't say I "know how we all feel" or that the fan attitude as of late is "typical" of the poor performance years. I just know these three things have been frustrating to me so far this year.

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by PilotNut on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:00 pm

DTLegend wrote:haha, Sorry, I guess this wasn't the right place to post that. Also, didn't mean to point fingers.

This is an open board, and I encourage posting on this topic, maybe just in another thread. I want to drill down to what we can really control, and after all the whining (most of it by me), what can we really do to rectify the situation? It doesnt do any good to sit around and whine if we don't take steps to address the concerns.

Another idea: Take a second to acknowledge and thank the fans that you do see doing a great job... For example, the gentleman dressed up as the blind ref on Saturday night! He was awesome!

Theme nights seem to do well (the SMC "It's Nacho Night"), do we have some ideas we can deliver to the Marketing folks? Black out night? White out night?

Fans seem to get excited for swag being thrown their way (i.e. the T-Shirt Toss)... Do we have suggestions on other time-out give aways? Promotions/Contests?

Do people know all the words to the fight song? Are we about due to suggest to the U that we hand out cards with the words on the back again? (Remember the ones that said GO PILOTS! on one side, and the lyrics on the back?) Would we have volunteers to help hand them out?

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by dholcombe on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:15 pm

DTLegend wrote:Well this looks like a good place to write down a few ideas, voice some concerns.

First off, if you don't recognize my name it's because I have changed. I am the artist formally known as PurplePride13, but since I've graduated I've grown up to a different name.

Okay I understand that voicing concerns here is as they say "preaching to the choir" but I am going to anyway. Obviously the fan support has been an issue for a while, and getting a lot of support is a lot easier said than done.

Alright. Can I bring up an issue I have with the current organization of student fans for students. This may not be a popular point of view but it is what I perceived while I was a student on the bluff. I have an issue with the Villa Drum squad. I have an issue with the most passionate fan group being exclusive. does that make sense. When I was a freshman I lived in Corrado and loved it but I was jealous I could never be part of the drum squad without living in Villa. If you look at the Timber's army, it is the TIMBER'S ARMY not the Hawthorne Army or the St Johns Army, they represent the team, not a smaller sub group of the larger. I think that if there were an open group that was essentially the drum squad but open to all students that would be a help. Yeah I know this is a radical thought to break up the best aspect of student support, but with this new open format, also would come the new expectation to be a force at every basketball game.

On top of that, and this has been brought up here before, I think that this group could bring a soccer atmosphere to a basketball gym. One of the best student sections is at Utah State. If you haven't seen the youtube videos of their cheers check them out. They are incredibly creative and unique and that sets them apart. Could you imagine if we consistently had a couple hundred students all chanting/singing during the game. I think for this to happen, there needs to be more of a leadership tree if you will. It needs to be organized with passionate leaders who buy in to this vision. I really believe that if freshman came into Portland with knowing that they were one of the most unique student groups in the country that they would show up and be engaged.


On top of that, the current group Pilot Riot that has an impact at games has formed in the absence of the old purple pride to offer a pre game party aspect of the group. When done correctly in the past there have been dedicated students to shut down the keg and shuffle people to the door to get to the game on time. What if there were a way to have a sponsered event on campus or at the T room for students of age pregame with a shuttle to the game. I know that Gonzaga has post game parties at Jack and Dans for the Kennel Club so would something like that be possible?

I also think that if this group had a presence around campus other than at sporting events such as if they sponsored one or two events a year that had nothing to do sports, and/or did a community service event or two a year. Also, how cool would it be to have a huge barbeque at the one cross country meet that is in Portland. Get the drums and fans out there going nuts.

I know that this is a huge vision and to be honest I've been just rambling for a bit so I'm not sure if any of this even makes sense, and this could be years and years away but whats wrong with dreaming.

Am I completely insane to think this kind of stuff?

Not insane. I think most of these are really good points.

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by NoPoNeighbor on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:18 pm

Two easy things every individual fan can do:

1) Bring more people out to the games. A large part of the poor atmosphere is all of the empty seats. On average, for games this year against teams without their own Portland-area fan base (so, everyone other than WSU, GU, BYU), more than three-fifths of the seats have been empty. The average attendance for those 7 games is 1,744 (based on espn.com numbers; 2/5 full would be 1,941). The highest attendance of any of those 7 games was 2,132 against USF - still well under half-full.

A couple simple ideas to boost attendance:
  • Everyone here could commit to bring 10 people out to a game over the course of the year. That could have the potential to build on itself and create some buzz around town.
  • Folks could write letters-to-the-editor of the Oregonian, Portland Tribune, neighborhood newsletters, and other publications calling on Portlanders to come out and support their team for the last couple games of the season.
  • Everyone who is active on-line could promote the games through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Pilot Nation could set up a meeting with the athletic department to find ways that existing fans could facilitate bringing new fans to the game. For example, free or discounted "friends and family tickets" for regular attendees that folks could use to invite others to come out to see a game.

2) Everyone can make a personal (and collective) commitment to making more noise throughout the game. I was at the Pepperdine game and there was one really positive aspect of fan engagement that I was impressed by: Several times the Pilots were having a great defensive possession, and as the shot clock was winding down to around 12 or 10 seconds, the fans started making noise and getting behind the team to finish out the play and come up with the defensive stop. You could feel the energy mounting in the building, and then the times that UP did make the stop there was a really great cheer in appreciation of the effort, which I could tell was a great support to the team, and translated into more energy going back on the attack on offense. I think we need that kind of alert, engaged, proactive fan involvement throughout the game. At later games (USD, USF), that same fan engagement in similar situations was not there.

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by ShipstadPilot11 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:28 pm

PilotNut wrote:Do people know all the words to the fight song? Are we about due to suggest to the U that we hand out cards with the words on the back again? (Remember the ones that said GO PILOTS! on one side, and the lyrics on the back?) Would we have volunteers to help hand them out?
I would guess that very few current students/recent graduates know the words to the fight song. But, in my opinion, this is a low priority. The fight song is always played when the players are not playing. I think energy would be better spent making noise when the game is in play. Granted, if singing the fight song kept people excited and their excitement (and noise) overflowed into the game, it could be worth it. However I don't see that as likely and think we should figure out ways to make noise during actual game play.

To those of you reading this, what do you think?

The more people who are involved in this conversation, the better. Even if you're a lurker and you don't think you have much to add, join in anyway!!

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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by upsailor on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:45 pm

sORRY i MADE A MESS OF MY THOUGHTS, PERHAPS LATER i'LL MAKE ANOTHER

A real mess ssorry.















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Re: Brainstorming time: what can WE do?

Post by DoubleDipper on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:57 pm

All we need is NOISE. It doesn’t matter what we are yelling, just making noise at appropriate times like while the other team is at the line or when we are putting defensive pressure on them. Rarely should we single out a ref or coach to heckle, but I must admit, it depends upon the ref’s or coach’s behavior on the court. I say it doesn’t matter what we are yelling, but that obviously does not include profanity or vulgarity.

What are the rules on megaphones? Can fans use them? What about yell/cheer leaders, can they use them? They are the easiest and cheapest way to make noise. I don't know what little stipend our PPPB members are paid, but you can also pay a stipend to someone who would lead cheers and noise making. Those were nice towels that were handed out at the GU game, but as hard as a shook mine, it still wouldn’t make noise.

Songs, no! Yells, yes. Such as, ”Eric Reveno, Eric Reveno, Eric Reveno,” repeated about 8 times as an endearment yell. Or “Go UP, Go UP, Go Up” with a beat to it yelled repeatedly as the ball is inbounded. Surly there is someone amongst us who’s been to real time rally or has been a yell leader. Look at the Kameron Krazies; it’s mostly just noise and jumping.

We are all yell leaders when we jump up and yell and exhort others to yell too, regardless of where we are sitting and who we are sitting with. We do it with blacksheep’s granddad all the time! clown


Last edited by DoubleDipper on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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