The Baylor football team’s recent loss to West Virginia has brought a very important issue to light.
Baylor is going to lose games.
We have in the past — even under RGIII — and we will in the future.
Fortunately we have not had to face a loss at home in over a year and there is no reason to expect that we will lose at home this year, but a home loss will come.
When it does, we need to be ready for it and respond with the dignity that is expected of us. That’s not to say don’t get excited. By all means paint yourself up, scream, stomp around, harangue the referees, make noise, get involved but there is a way to do that which doesn’t make us look like we come from a town about halfway between here and Houston.
To that end, we would propose a few simple rules to cheer by which will be applicable in all locations.
First, stay through the entire game.
It looks really bad whenever, winning or losing, half the stadium leaves after the half. We stay to the end, we sing “That Good Old Baylor Line” and then we leave. It shows support for the team and it’s polite to the people who came all that way to get their pants beaten off.
Imagine, if you will, a home game against the University of Texas. Most of the UT fans aren’t leaving — they have nowhere better to go. Even if we’re up or down three touchdowns, the game can change in a matter of minutes. The Baylor defense needs your support on third downs to help overwhelm the offense and force a four-and-out.
Second, and speaking of third downs, get loud.
Noise helps, and there is no greater feeling than seeing an opposing lineman jump because he can’t hear the snap. Also with a team like Baylor, momentum and pace are essential parts of the game. Fans can help the Bears perform better when we get into the game and are encouraging. Let the Baylor linebackers ride a wave of sound towards the unsuspecting quarterback.
Third, consider your location.
Match the level of the people around you. To quote an oft-repeated meme — if you expect to have a quiet conversation while sitting in the student section, you’re going to have a bad time. Maybe two rows behind Poppa Ken is not the best place to break out the vuvuzela, but then again maybe no place outside of South Africa is a good place to break out a vuvuzela.
This doesn’t mean don’t try to whip the people around you into a righteous frenzy, just don’t start screaming at wealthy alumni because they don’t share your enthusiasm. Also, if you’re in a rowdy section, don’t make complaints about people getting into the game.
They’re supporting the Bears, and as long as they’re not acting like some fans from a school down Highway 6, they’re fine.
Fourth, clap for injured players — all of them.
These men and women get out there to play the game they love and give us a good show. It’s never a good thing when someone gets hurt doing that. Tactically it might be a godsend, but we still need to clap when a player can leave the field of their own volition and not have to be wheeled out.
That being said, if someone is intentionally flopping to affect the pace of the game, feel free to boo them. Just be careful and only boo them as they cheerily sprint off the field after they spent a minute rolling around on the ground clutching their everything.
There you have it, four simple rules — or guidelines, whichever you prefer — to cheer by. They’re easy to follow and remember, and they make the game better for everyone involved. Even if Baylor football were to return to the ‘90s— knock on wood — we could still take pride in our participation in the game. We can sit back, cheer on the Bears and watch the slaughter ensue — no matter who’s doing the slaughtering.
Enthusiasm in the face of adversity, grace in victory and a close guard on our moderation throughout are essential to being good fans.
Without these nothing separates us from the Aggies.