Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rule #12, or Training Camp for the Rest of Us

The players have been training hard for a while now but our training camp, as fans, is much easier. Your whole playbook fits into this one short blog post.
We have many fewer rules than the Freshmen of the Class of 1923 had in the Rutgers College Handbook Volume XXVI, 1919-1920 , but rule number 12 from that little book should be considered as true now as it was then (see the full Freshman Regulations with Beat Visitor's 2009 annotations by clicking here):
The first football game of the year against the Cincinnati Bearcats is less than two weeks away, and here are The Four Absolutely Necessary Songs and Yells at Rutgers Stadium:
1) R ... U ... R ... U ... etc. This one is idiot proof. If someone yells R at anytime on game day, you yell U. If you're on the bus from the parking lot at the RAC and someone yells R, you yell U (especially if there are fans with the opposing team's colors on board). If a handful of people on the opposite side of the Stadium yell R and point in your direction, you -- and all your neighbors -- yell U as loudly a possible. Like I said, idiot proof. But there are always some idiots who feel they are above yelling at a football game (they should reminded of Rule #12). If you and some of your leather-lunged friends are feeling ambitious, you can yell R yourself and start a chant in the parking lot or on a refreshment line or while walking into the mens' room. The line of fellow Scarlet Knights at the urinals with their backs to you are under an obligation to reply.
2) First Down! Touchdown! Go RU! After every Rutgers first down, you will hear the familiar voice of Joe Nolan proclaim over the loudspeakers : "And THAT is a Rutgers FIRST DOWN!" Your duty as a fan is to scream that along with him and point emphatically in the direction the Knights are traveling when you get to the words "first down." The band will immediately start to play a fanfare (a tune that will become very familiar with repetition as the Scarlet Knights march up and down the field at will). After the first repetition of the fanfare, you yell HEY. The second repetition will be in a higher key, you yell HEY at the end. The third, still higher, repetition of the theme will be followed by HEY, First Down! Touchdown! Go RU!. Like I said, you'll get a lot of practice in the first game. If you're in one of those sections where your neighbors like to sit quietly, and they give you a look, you can give them a look back, or make copies of Rule #12 to hand out in your section.
3) Here's the reason we come to the games rather than sitting at home listening to the radio: R U rah rah! R U rah rah! / Hoo-rah Hoo-rah Rutgers rah! / Upstream Red Team / Red Team Upstream / Rah Rah Rutgers Rah! Like the first down chant, this will become very familiar with repetition. You get a chance to practice once with the band as they play "The Bells Must Ring" before the National Anthem before the game, and then you will chant it over and over again after every Rutgers touchdown or field goal (you can see it in action at the 2:19 mark in this video -- you will also hear where to add "Fight Fight Fight" in "The Bells Must Ring".)
4) On the Banks of the Old Raritan. You have no excuse not to sing along with your beautiful Alma Mater (the nation's best Alma Mater) at the beginning of the game with the band (and sometimes glee club) and at the end of the game with the team. Not only do you only need to know the first verse, but the words are usually projected on the scoreboard and zippers. If your neighbors don't sing, you know which rule they are violating. Also, note in the illustration up above that there is also a page for the Class of 1923 entitled "A Word to the Wise." Note the second piece of advice: "While 'On the Banks' is being sung all Rutgers men rise and uncover." In other words, don't sit down and put your cap on after the National Anthem, you have another song to sing (we'll assume that you already sang The Star-Spangled Banner with feeling and are in the mood to sing some more).

Tomorrow's Fan Lesson: Something New for the New Stadium, "The Rolling R!"

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