I was so excited to get tickets to the men’s basketball game vs. UCLA last night. So very, very excited. There’s something funny â€” in a good way â€” about the Pit, about the way that tickets sometimes seem to materialize. Everyone knows someone who seems to have some kind of connection, and sometimes you luck out.
Last night was one of those nights. Sure, the Ducks lost, and disappointingly, too. Sure, I think the game might have gone differently had Malik Hairston not been out with cramping (c’mon, boy! Drink the Gatorade!) for seven-plus minutes in the second half. And sure, it drove me bugfuck crazy that Kevin Love can’t get called for a foul.
But nothing drove me as crazy as the fans.
I get that people are disappointed. They think that since Love is an Oregonian, since his dad (who was in attendance last night) was a Duck, the UO has some kind of right to him. I don’t agree, really, and I understand why someone would pick UCLA over Oregon at this point. But this is why I’m a huge basketball fan, but not a rabid fan, I guess. I booed Love once or twice, when I got frustrated with the calls, and I sort of chuckled at the dramatic turning of the fans’ backs. That stuff is a little mean, but mostly low-key, mostly funny.
Then there’s the stuff that isn’t. The bullshit playground antics from second grade. I love the volume of the Pit Crew; I love the chanting for Aaron Brooks and Dennis Dixon and even Adrian Stelly. It warmed my little heart, and I hoped for two seconds that Brooks would be a magical charm against the Bruins. But I was horrified and embarrassed to be a Duck fan when I suddenly realized that the student section was chanting “Love’s a faggot.”
Words fail me. It wasn’t much of an improvement when the chant changed to “Love’s a pussy.” (I can laugh at “Love’s a bitch,” though. The purposeful misuse of established phrases is kind of funny. And every so often it was impossible to tell whether the chant was “Go Ducks” or “Love sucks.”) Eventually, the band started to play, and I hope it was on purpose, to drown the chanting out.
I wish there was some action available to the officials in that situation. I wish Kent would take the matter in hand somehow. (Not that the lost-so-much-respect-for-Kent fans would care much.) I wish someone in a position of power would or could do something to stop that nonsense, to stop the fans from posting Love’s cell number online, to stop people from screaming in Stan Love’s face. Carry signs, boo the players, whatever, but just retain a tiny, tiny bit of class and humanity.
I love basketball, but I abhor the aggressive, offensive attitude that comes along with certain parts of sports fandom.
And frankly? After last night I have even more respect for Oregon’s players, who didn’t seem to acknowledge any of the yelling, and, honestly, for Kevin Love, who was as calm with reporters after the game as he was on the court. I don’t care for the Bruins in the least, and I really didn’t care for some of the calls last night, but that was a lot for one kid to take.
(On a random and smaller note, I’d like to suggest that someone tell the Mac Court staff that the way to get the crowd to stop sitting on the back of the last row of seats â€” which, yes, is where my cruddy camphone pic was taken â€” is NOT by tapping people on the ass.)
(On a really random note, can anyone explain the Duck mascot’s little routine with the wading pool and the scrub brush?)