Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


It takes more than a red shirt to be a real fan

The scoreboard clock counts down second by second as fans fill the empty seats, anticipating an exciting game. The music is muddled by the low hum of chatter from fans and students clad in bright red “Beat FIU” shirts. The squeaks of the players’ shoes on the hardwood floor as they warm up echoes through what FAU’s fans call “The Burrow.”

With faces painted red and bare stomachs with letters, students sit center court ready to “get rowdy.” This section of FAU’s basketball arena is made up of many who refer to themselves as the Rowdy Rex’s and the Sexy Rexies. These dedicated fan groups can be found tailgating in the parking lot long before fans fill the stands. You can’t miss them during the games as they run around the court with “FAU” on their chests or Owsley the mascot on their backs.

These groups are at every game and are often the only section cheering. Normally I would be proud of a fan group so enthused by our team and eager to amp up the energy of the crowd. At a recent game, though, I found myself aghast at some of their chants and the conduct of these representatives of our student body.

College games are a fun way for students to get involved on campus but students are not the only in people in attendance at these events. Local high schools students, media outlets, parents, community members, and children often attend these games. This is an opportunity for our student body to show the community what we are made of and what a great university Florida Atlantic is. Yet, with all the red FAU shirts seen throughout the student section, the vulgarity, bad attitudes and negative tyrants made me rethink the type of spirit these students exude.

F-bombs and chants like “Olé, olé, ole, FIU is gay” made me wonder what these students were trying to get across. As if these types of chants weren’t foolish enough in themselves, I couldn’t help but think about the ears of the two little girls sitting in the section to my left as students yelled, “I fucked your mom last night” to the FIU players. In all honesty, I was embarrassed by their behavior and I found myself disappointed in the representation of my student body.

Students from schools like Duke are famous for their basketball fans who call themselves the Cameron Crazies. They have gained a national reputation as the quintessential fans but their chants aren’t merely loud or vulgar; they are clever. They stand in unison and follow a specific tradition of witty and amusing cheers.

So I ask myself, why are these students – freshmen through seniors and even alumni – using these pathetic and arrogant means of cheering on our basketball team?

As we trailed FIU Wednesday night, some students in front of me proudly held their middle fingers in the air. I stood up and left the student section – I had had more than enough.

Even if we had won the game, FIU’s fans would have won in sportsmanship. Offensive rants, insulting remarks and the use of vulgarity to “cheer” on our Owls does not make for an appealing reason to sit in the stands at an FAU basketball game. As I watched FAU President Frank Brogan shake these students’ hands at halftime,

I wondered if this really how he and head coach Rex Walters want to be represented by the student body.

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