Shaking the Bleachers: A Student’s Perspective

Shaking the Bleachers: A Student's Perspective

by Patrick Dowling, Sports Editor

Winter: cue the snow falling, the Frosty-the-Snowman soundtrack on repeat, and the warm feeling one gets upon seeing the holiday lights lining the street. Wintertime has come upon us, and everyone seems to be caught with the Christmas spirit. While the indigenous population is counting down the days until they wake up and tear apart Christmas Santa’s or Hannukah Harry’s wrapping paper, we here in the sports world are in the midst of another NFL season filled with its ups and downs, and we are ready to begin a basketball season in the next couple of days.

With the thought of basketball comes the NBA: the dreadful, appalling NBA. The few NBA fans that still remain will watch the “super-teams” dominate come playoff time. This is the year for those basketball fans who have yet to make the switch to the stunners and thrillers of college basketball to finally crossover.

College basketball is the quintessence of pride and sportsmanship, as each one of the players actually cares about defending his/her team, school and teammates. During every single play, all ten players on the hardwood leave their hearts and sweat on the court, never taking a play off. Watching Aaron Craft (Ohio State) stay on the floor for forty minutes playing full-court defense and averaging eight points a game is far more entertaining than watching Kevin Durant (OKC’s Thunder) drop thirty on a loose defense, then coming back and being invisible on the other side of the court.

Watching a NBA game or an NCAA game is certainly a matter of opinion, but most students side with the intensity of a NCAA game. Many assume that, because the professionals are often more talented than collegiate players, an NBA game is more entertaining to watch. This assumption strikes me as wrong. Yes, the NBA players are, overall, more talented than the collegiate players; you will not, however, see a crowd more “into the game” than in a college setting.

For the most part as you watch a game you root for one team, regardless of whether your favorite team is playing or not. But as the momentum (or mo as we in sports call it) switches to the collegiate home team, the crowd exudes raw energy and the bleachers begin to shake.

This just doesn’t happen at an NBA game, unless it’s a close game in the playoffs at select locations. Upon viewing many New Jersey Nets games last year, I noticed that the fans did not care, and most were rooting for the away team. Sadly, when the Nets fans could be heard cheering loudly at games, it would mostly be mocking Johan Petro – the MVP chants belted out for the worst player in the league.

So if you find yourself sitting on the couch on a Tuesday night with nothing to do, and you have the option of watching a Heat-Lakers game, or a Kansas-Tennessee game, make sure to tune into those crazy fans in orange, rooting their team on. The NCAA is basketball at its purest and most exciting; vivacious and nail-biting, make sure to tune into the first NCAA games this season for a refreshing sports treat.