A view from the heart of Section 313
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 01:03
Everyone knows about the wildest student sections in college basketball: the Cameron Crazies at Duke, the eRUPPtion Zone at Kentucky and the Izzone at Michigan State. These are commonly referred to as “the sixth man.”
While Detroit Mercy’s Section 313 is nowhere close to the size of those sections, it was just as productive as any of them at the Horizon League championship game.
All the craziness began on the fan buses on the ride down to Valparaiso, Ind. Many students were excited about the game but all had their own way of getting ready.
Once at the game, the student section – led by the rowdy men’s lacrosse team – was loud from the start.
There were about 20 of us in the section 55 minutes before game time. A couple of the Valparaiso players walked out from the locker to start their pre-game stretches.
Some of the players were bald; we reminded them by chanting, “Rogaine, Rogaine, Rogaine.”
The Valpo players couldn’t help but crack a smile.
In addition to being obnoxious almost an hour before the game started, we were simply much louder and bigger than Valparaiso’s section. We were so loud during the National Anthem, everyone in the crowd heard us better than the lady who was singing into the microphone.
The excitement didn’t stop at that point, either. Once the game began, we had our signs and chants ready to go. Everyone in the section was jumping in the stands.
Right from the opening tip, we let not only the Valparaiso team have it but the Valparaiso fans as well. For every possession, whether Detroit was on offense or defense, we yelled and screamed.
Before the game, we were told we had one rule: no swearing. That rule wasn’t followed at all times by all fans; however, we keep the harsh language to a minimum.
One of the biggest and wildest plays on the night was when with 10:36 left in the second half sophomore guard Ray McCallum forced a turnover and tossed the ball ahead to junior Doug Anderson for a thunderous dunk. We screamed and jumped up and down as if we had jst received the greatest Christmas present in the world.
The combination of Detroit Mercy playing its best second half of the entire season and earning its first conference title and NCAA berth since 1999 made for a thrilling experience for everyone involved.
The determination of both the team and the student section set the bar high for games to come.
But we proved it’s not about the size of the section; it’s about how big of a wild distraction we can provide.
After all, that’s what “the sixth man” is supposed to do.