Cheering 101 by The Crimson Guard

When I heard that the IU students finally decided it was trendy enough to start sort of caring about IU basketball again and formed an "official" student section, I decided to look into it. And at first, I wanted to mock them. Ha! A student section formed in December 2009 -- what, did they want to wait to see how bad the season would be before doing it?

But then I said to myself, "Self, that's not nice. This is a program trying to claw its way back after being decimated by a cheating coach."

A coach who had a history of cheating who they hired while knowing he was a cheater. So you could argue it was something IU did to itself. But still -- if you're a student there now, it's not your fault. You have the right to assemble. Hell, it's the clever name of your gym.

So I checked out their web site, CrimsonGuard.org. And, of course, they put up the grainy pictures of their championship banners, ranging from 23 years old to 70 years old. Rah-rah, yay!

But still, I thought they should be proud of whatever they want to be proud of. This is Indiana basketball -- these are people who truly know hoops. Right?

They even have several warnings to students not to rush the floor and to "act like you've been there before." And I respect this, because it's good advice.

What I don't respect, though, is a school whose students mock Purdue and act as though they're somehow superior.......and yet need cheering lessons. Let's take a look at the guidance given to students by the Crimson Guard's leadership:

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So we start with the "Purdont" roster. Clever, with the "Purdont" thing. Here's a tip for student sections -- be clever. Being an original idiot makes you sound like a southern Indiana hillrat. Oh, wait....

Among the tips on the first page is not to leave early, "unless you're meeting Purdue in the parking lot." What the hell does that even mean?

I love that they suggest that Rob Hummel "ran his best friend Scott Martin out of Purdue." Indeed, that's how it happened.

They also have a "pop quiz" asking how many national titles the Purdue men's team has won, and then indicate -- erroneously -- that the answer is zero. Way to do your homework, IU students! Not that you're used to having to study or do any research to skate through college.

But that's just the first page. The second page is the true treasure of this embarrassment:

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Let's start at the top. "When the announcer says the name of a player you scream the first name."

And then....and THEN...they feel compelled to give an example!

"For example: 'Christian Watford.' Balcony and Bleachers unison: 'Christian'"

What, no guidance on how they should pull off doing it in unison? Will there be a conductor? A sign? A megaphone? HOW WILL THEY KNOW??

And then the "Main Level students shout the last name after the balcony and bleachers shout the first name." And yes, they have "after" in bold.

They then tell you that when a player "shots an airball" (assume they mean "shoots" but hey, that's an IU educashun for you) that you chant.... wait for it.... "airball...airball every time that player touches the ball for the remainder of the half."

*raises hand* But what if someone airballs it in the final seconds before the half? Can they chant "airball...airball" early in the second half? I NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE RULES HERE!!

It goes on from there, telling them how to clap and cheer for players, and all about the "left right left right" chant for players who foul out -- which you'll recall SMRT Illinois fans did to Kramer when he fouled out in Champaign with the game comfortably in hand.

Frankly, I'm surprised they don't have rules listed to help the students understand why some buckets count for three and some only for two.

I fully encourage anyone attending the game to create a new, more creative version of this guide, print a couple hundred copies and then distribute to students entering Ass Hall.

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