Lynah Rink is one of the hardest rinks to play in the world of college hockey. The teams are tough, and you better believe the fans are tougher. Seriously, where else can you find a Pep Band dressed in matching “Where’s Waldo” shirts that can intimidate a visiting opponent? Little in the world can compare to the mix of characters you can find standing on the bleachers. Last year I took an Anthro class in which I had to examine a system and classify its different parts. So, me being me, I was naturally drawn to look deeper into something within the realm of sports. I was at a men’s hockey game with my friends when an idea struck me. What if I were to classify the fans in Lynah? The culture of Lynah is really like no other. So after hours of thought (well, maybe more like 30 minutes), I came up with my own anthropological guide to Lynah. So, I proudly present to you my “Classification of Lynah.”The Face-Timers This is the group of fans that comes to the weekly games just to be seen. These fans don’t know much about hockey and frankly they are not interested in learning about it. Am I wrong in thinking that the only reason that this group of people frequents the rink and is willing to pay up for season tickets is because they want the popularity that comes with attending Cornell’s most popular sporting events?The EnforcersThese fans are a group of self-elected, hard-core rabble-rousers that enforce the traditions and rituals of Lynah. This select bunch starts all of the major chants like “Kill, Red, Kill,” or the telephone chant. They also take pride in being the first to chant “sexy” at Andy Iles when he raises his bucket between plays (sorry, brah, but the boys in Lynah love you), or shout “ugly” at the opposing goalie, who is also known as a sieve. A specific type of Enforcer is known as the Cow Bell (Andy Hu!). He starts the most cherished of chants: our fight song. If the Enforcers did not exist, there would be no order for the Faithful.The FaithfulThe Faithful are the over 4,000 people that fill Lynah with life and emotion every time there is a hockey game. The Faithful stand by their team until the last possible moment, through missed penalty shots and horrific losses, and constantly cheer for the players with every last breath they can muster. The Faithful represents all types of people: Ithaca natives, professors, frat boys and sorority girls, athletes from different sports, and graduate and undergraduate students alike. These are also the fans that stand on their feet all night and bring a newspaper to every game, sneak in a barracuda in their pants for the Harvard game (true story) and make sure to have a tube of toothpaste on hand when Colgate in in town. The Sometimes FaithfulThese faux-Faithful fans parade around like they are dedicated 110 percent to supporting their team, but at the end of the night they are not. This group of fans will cheer for their team to rally when they are losing, but when it comes down to the final moments of the game and there is no possible way that the team will win, this group of individuals will walk out of Lynah, refusing to see the end of the game. They would rather not see their team finish than watch them lose. (Seriously, who does that?!) The Analysts Analysts provide a little spice to the mix of Lynah fans. This smaller group of individuals takes pride in knowing the sport so well. These fans watch hockey when they are at home, they have NHL.com bookmarked in their Internet browser and some of them even have fantasy leagues. These fans are dedicated to hockey on a local and national level, hence these people love to tell other less-knowledgeable fans about the nitty-gritty aspects of the sport, like the difference between hooking, elbowing, and boarding and what a player can do to result in a 2-minute penalty versus a 5-minute major.The Know-NothingsThis group of fans pretends that they know what they are talking about, but in all actually they do not. These people shout and cheer and act like they know why the referee just sent the opponent to the penalty box, but just because they have played an NHL 11 on their friend’s Playstation does not mean they know anything about hockey. Seriously, nothing irks me more than to have these noobs behind me in the stands incorrectly trying to explain what an icing or an offside call means. Know-Nothings are also the fans most likely to have a running commentary during the game about every move that the players make and the judgments that the referees make. The Virgins This group of fans does not understand the rules, traditions and rituals of Lynah. They have never been to a hockey game before, and like the Face-Timers want to be seen or like the Faithful love the game and want to see what all the hype of Lynah is about. Virgins are sometimes easy to spot in the crowd. They are the girls that wear heels and short skirts in the stands — a stark contrast to the stereotypical sweatpants and boots worn by the female Faithful. The Virgins are the fans that have the potential to grow up to become the Faithful that carry on the long held tradition of Lynah fans: the undying support for Cornell hockey.TowniesThis group of fans that spans half of Lynah Rink is characterized by the people who live in the city of Ithaca and the surrounding area that come to support the biggest sport in the area. They share a great love of ice hockey and a sense of pride for the University that made their city well-known. The Townies are best known for when the Faithful call them to rise to their feet during the last two minutes of the third period by chanting “Townies, up!” Townies give Lynah just as much life and spirit as the Faithful.“Section O” The final and often hated section of fans in Lynah is characterized by where they sit, “Section O.” This group of individuals is often comprised of students and fans from the opposing school. These people shamelessly taunt the Faithful, start fights with the Cornell Pep Band, and cheer loudest when the home team is losing. The Faithful have such a deep-seated hatred for “Section O” that chants like “Section O sucks!” have been inspired and embraced by all the Faithful.
Original Author: Lauren Ritter