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Sports Opinion: The art of fandom

By Sabrina Brown
On February 22, 2012

Fans. Anyone who has ever attended a college sporting event is likely to tell you that a team's fans play a huge role in what happens on the court. Most college students are likely to tell you that some of their best college experiences involve collegiate athletics.

From standing in line for tickets to high-fiving players after a game, students are involved in a game from start to finish, and let me tell you, the effect is astounding.

That being said, there's a few basic rules of fandom that should be embraced, particularly at the end of a season.

For most of my life, I've been hearing the mantra "basketball happens in the last two minutes" from my father, and he's right.

That brings me to my first rule: never leave a game early. This rule applies even more than usual this season, where absolutely anything can happen and every game is important. If you miss Dez's SportsCenter dunk or Tu's buzzer-beater to win a game, you will hate yourself tomorrow.

Another key rule at this point in the season is pretty simple: support your team. As a fan, you cannot make Kenny make a lay-up or keep Jeff from turning over the ball, but you can show up and cheer for your team.

Let the players know you are behind them, win or lose. If you pass them in the hall, tell them good game, don't avert your eyes and run the other direction.

These players are your peers, treat them as such. How would you feel if everyone stared at you like you were an exhibit in an art museum? Players are people. Tall people, yes, but people.

Xavier prides itself on being one of the toughest places to play, so act like it. Show up early, cheer as loud as you can, throw your paper in the air and fight like hell for a Skyline parachute. When your team is doing well, cheer for them. When your team is struggling, cheer even louder.

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