November 21, 2000

Showing Your Spirit

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Sitting in back of me at this Saturday’s football game were two graduate students. One of the them said, “When I was an undergraduate at Texas A&M, I could not hear my own voice at the football games.”

Though Cornell and Texas A&M have different football traditions, with an Ivy league title on the line, I came into the game thinking that Cornell fans would attain its hockey-like frenzy and bring some Texas hoe-downs to the boundaries of Schoellkopf field. To say the least, my expectations were swept away with the fall breeze of silence. With the Quakers leading 14-0 in the first quarter, one fan, who will remain anonymous, took it upon himself to rile up the overly subdued and hushed Cornell crowd.

This was the same fan, who happens to be a Cornell alumni, who annually runs onto the field during Homecoming weekend’s halftime show, takes off his shirt and highsteps into the endzone only to be restrained moments later by Cornell police. And on Saturday, he continued his streak of frolics when he replaced his normal jeans and a sweatshirt to don a Superman costume. This caped crusader raced up and down the Schoellkopf steps, waving his hands wildly in the air beseeching the crowd to follow his enthusiastic lead. To my amazement, his convincing antics were to no avail, as the Cornell crowd refused to warm up its frigid bodies with some Texas A&M-like shenanigans.

Only when he stood up on a bench inches from a fan’s face, would that individual rise to the occasion. When Superman glided to another section, that spectater would sit back down in his frozen seat, sip his hot cocoa, sulk at the scoreboard and contemplate leaving the game for the warmer confines of his own room.

Instead of just writing what not to do at an Ivy league championship game, I have an action plan for our complacent Cornell fans. If you follow these five fully functional recommendations, Superman will not have to be in your face next year, petitioning your support during the Ivy League title game (you heard it from me first).

First, make sure you enter Schoellkopf with the color red either on your face or your body — it could be red face paint, a red jacket, a red shirt, or even red underwear. Just make sure everyone sees your contribution to the sea of red, for fan unity and color conformity is necessary for a team morale boost.

Second, if you are in a fraternity, designate 3 members to be the “naked” guys (not fully in the buck, but shirtless will suffice). Don’t worry about the frigid temperature, strap on a jockstrap and show some true brotherhood for your alma mater.

Third, if you are in a sorority, anoint three members to be the “chicken” girls. These girls have to sit on three “naked” frat guys’ shoulders, leading Cornell ovations and raising the roof to the harmonious rhythm of Cornell first downs.

Fourth, if we battle the Penn Quakers next year for the Ivy League title, bring a bible with you, for it will have a twofold purpose. First, during the Penn player introductions, fans can use the bible (Quaker spoof) in a fashion similar to the newspapers at the hockey games. A rabbi and priest have been consulted on this issue and do not view it as being sacrilegious. Also, if Cornell happens to have another mental lapse like it did on Saturday, fans can use the bible as a reference to recite prayers for a Big Red comeback. The players say a prayer in the locker room before the game and gather at midfield after the game, why shouldn’t fans recount prayers in the stands during the game?

Fifth, standing on the seats should be made mandatory. Those who are vertically challenged might have a problem with this recommendation. My response to them would be to make sure they get a front row seat. Or if tardiness is in their nature, invest in a pair of stilts, because the spirit of Lynah is meeting Schoellfkopf next year.

Finally, we need to come up with a chant similar to the one we have at the hockey games when the opposing goalie lets up a goal. So, when the Penn defense gives up a touchdown, the Cornell crowd should chant, “You’re not too big, You’re not too strong, You just smell, You just smell!” Or if the opposing kicker misses an extra point or a field goal, the crowd should point and chant, “You don’t play football, you can’t even play two-hand touch, go back to soccer, go back to soccer!” I am currently accepting suggestions for more creative chants than the previous two.

Though I won’t be at every home game next year to enforce my five fully functional recommendations, when Cornell plays for the title game, I will make my return to Schoellkopf.

This time dressed like Superman.

Archived article by Jason Skolnik