What, exactly, was the best student section in the country? We took a few nominees, discussed a few possibilities, cited some of the classics (Duke), mulled some of the mid-major outliers (Northern Iowa) and ended with an appeal to the college hoops student sections of this great nation: Convince us of your greatness, and you might just get a spot in our final top 5 best student sections in the country.
Many of you have responded. The Oakland Zoo and its nearly 6,000 followers bombarded us with tweets. Indiana fans have hoped Saturday's insanity will help their cause. I've heard nominations on behalf of schools big and small, east and west, north and south, successful and not so. But one student section really kicked things up a notch. That student section: San Diego State's "The Show."
As if The Show supporters' deluge of tweets wasn't enough, the student section's organizers went ahead and prepared an entire dossier on why the section deserves to be called the best in the country. It is posted at The Show's home page here. It includes graphics and screen grabs and photos. It begins with a thesis statement:
After being mired in relative obscurity for years, The Show and its antics were thrust onto the national scene during the 2010-2011 season, thanks to the success of the men's basketball team. Many may think that The Show is a one-hit wonder, a "Right Said Fred" of fandom that only rose into prominence riding the coattails of a Top 10 and Sweet Sixteen season — however The Show has been going strong for a decade now, providing inspiration, laughs and an insanely fun atmosphere to the team and its fans, game in and game out.
From there, The Show addresses each of my hastily listed criteria for what makes a good student section: consistency, enthusiasm, creativity and impact. Each section is meticulously detailed; each is taken as seriously as the next. These kids from The Show mean business.
Of course, there are still two more days until Dana and I sit down in the midst of this brutally slow hoops finals week to hash out our final list. In other words, competing student sections, there is still time for you to match The Show's enthusiasm. Hit me on Twitter (@eamonnbrennan) to include your presentation materials, slide shows, .gif files and/or YouTube videos. Or, you know, tweets work, too.
Your methods are yours to decide, but be forewarned: The Show just set the bar awfully high. Your student section has two days to eclipse it. Go.