Section 124: It’s an Experience

February 19, 2012   ·   0 Comments

by Daniel Zimmet

It’s not just a game. It’s an experience

Attending Mason basketball home games is a ritual for students. Posting up in line out­side in the cold for over an hour before tip to get their favorite seat is just the first step in what I call the “Game Day Experience.” As soon as you walk in, it’s important to never miss out on free giveaways. Whether it’s a replica jersey or bobbleheads, free Mason swag should never be passed up on. Once seated, it is essential to get a copy of the other team’s roster. If you’re ever in doubt about a good chant, always try to tailor it around someone on the oppos­ing team.

There isn’t a much cooler feeling than the entire student section jumping up and down as our team takes the court. Try to take a look around next time ev­eryone is doing it. It’s extremely exciting seeing a flowing wave of green and gold. Each game, two people follow our team out and have earned themselves their own chant. First comes the beloved President Alan Merten. Unfortunately, this is the last season that the famous “Al-an Mer-ten” chant will ring through­out the Patriot Center. Next, Coach Hewitt and his staff come onto the floor. Immediately after the starting lineups are announced a brand new “Coach Paul Hew-itt” chant begins to emulate around the student section. I have a feel­ing that we will be hearing this for many more years to come.

You must be up to date with the latest and greatest in cheerlead­ing chants and cheers. Once the game is underway, there’s no time to start learning. It doesn’t get much more embarrassing than not knowing a cheer that everyone else around you is screaming at the top of their lungs. The biggest chant, cheer, or whatever you want to call it that you need to know is all of the lyrics to “Livin’ On A Prayer.” That one song defines Mason basketball and the unity that the fans have. Aside from the plethora of commonly known songs that the legendary Doc Nix conducts, we have our beloved fight song. That song is just about the first thing that students and fans alike learn while attending a basketball game. The best part of the fight song is that the lyrics were created by, you guessed it, Doc Nix himself. The Green Machine is, hands down, the greatest pep band in the entire country, and I’m not just saying that as a student of Mason. If you don’t believe me, just ask the over 1.7 million viewers who watched their “Killing in the Name” video on YouTube. One of my favorite moments during the game is when Doc Nix comes over right in front of the student section to belt out songs with all of us.

The final part to the “Game Day Experience” is the fight to catch an authentic Coach Hewitt thrown t-shirt. After every win he comes over to the student section and throws out three T-shirts. Sometimes he even gives the honor of throwing one of the shirts to a player. The key to snagging one of their thrown shirts is to stand on a chair and create some sort of ecstatic motion to grab their attention. Coach Hewitt has said over and over again that the fans play a huge factor in the team’s performance. I’ve even seen him subtly walk over to the Platoon and raise his arms up and down trying to pump them up. Nothing completes a good win like a Mason shirt “given” to you by the head coach, or a player for that matter.

Recently, we’ve been fortunate enough that we’ve seen a good amount of success in Mason basketball. However, win or lose, the Patriot Center on game day has made itself one of the greatest are­nas to be in as fan, and one of the toughest places to play. It is very clear that attending a Mason basketball game is much more than just two teams competing. It’s an entire Mason Nation experience.

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