"improved" seating in the Marriott Center, and I hate how the administration and sports marketing people are trying to cover it up with all these supid gimmicks . . . and the students, for the most part, are falling for it. But not me!
I'm probably one of the rare people who sits in the student section who has been the proud owner of a BYU All Sports Pass for 9 years running, and I've loved every minute of it. But now my #1 wish is to save up enough money between now and next season to get a season ticket in a decent spot outside the "ROC". Why do I hate the ROC? Oh geez, where do I begin?
1. The name. "Roar of Cougars"? Seriously? Going by the "ROC" makes us nothing more than a cheap imitation of the "MUSS" (Mighty Utah Student Section). And I'm super embarrassed to say that the name "MUSS" is way better than "ROC." Why can't we just be the BYU Student Section (The BUSS)? Or the Cougar United Student Section (how funny would it be if we were the CUSS? haha-- totally kidding.) I'm not sure what we should be called, but I know I don't like the ROC. I'm totally fine with being an acronym-free Cougar Student Section.
2. The location. Thankfully sports passes were cheaper this year because the students got totally gypped. Unless you're close enough to the court that the backboard doesn't get in the way of your line of sight (which is only like the first 3 rows, and they are always occupied by the same exact people hours before the games start), it's impossible for 99% of the students to get even half-decent seats. Anyone who knows me well knows my camera is around my neck at every single game, and I hate it when Brandon goes up for a dunk or Ty takes a 3 that I try to get a shot of, and all I end up with is a picture of a player decapitated by the backboard. I wanna go back to the center-court student section, where almost every seat was a good one and I could actually see the game. I know they want to charge more for the better seats, but half of them are empty at any given game, anyway. They could easily fit all the high-rolling season ticket holders on one side and let the students have the other side back.
3. The stupid props. I understand that the students want to distract the other team in the second half, but these dumb props they hand out at half time have got to go. I'm sick of trying to see what's going on in the game, only to be distracted by the horror of Honey Boo Boo or Justin Bieber's face popping into my line of sight or the person next to me rubbing a balloon with their hands so it's making the most horrible screeching noise EVER and giving me an instant headache. And what's up with the giant face they hold up during free throws? I don't get it. First of all, the students aren't smart enough to figure out how to hold it level so you can actually tell who it is. It was like 2 months into the season before someone told me it was Dick Vitale . . . and then my only question was: Who the heck is Dick Vitale?!? I had to Google it. Come on, at least do someone BYU-related. Dave Rose? Cecil Samuelson? Jimmer? Danny Ainge? Ty? Matty? I think it would be much more intimidating to the opposition if we had a giant picture of Brandon Davies screaming instead of a smiling ESPN commentator who has nothing to do with BYU. I'm sure those signs were super expensive to make, too . . . Someone please explain this monstrosity to me.
4. The gimmicky chants. That kid with the headband who sits in the front row every single game is really starting to get to me. Who made him King of the ROC? He somehow ends up in all the national telecasts as the face of the BYU student section and talks to the players like he's their best friend. But I think he's just obnoxious. Why does he get to decide on what we all chant or yell and when? My least favorite? His "roll call" before the game. If I hear "Big Nate Austin!" clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, "Raaaaa-oul! Raaaaa-oul!" and "Matt Car-leeeee-no!" clap, clap, clap, clap, clap . . . one more time, I swear I'm gonna throw something. It's totally unoriginal and repetitive, and I'm pretty sure it just annoys the players. I love the games when the band is in attendance because they usually just play loudly over the top of all of that. Way to go, band, for helping me keep my sanity.
Bottom line-- the new student section is not cool, and covering up how lame it is is even worse. I go to the games to see the games-- not to play with a balloon and stare at the back of a backboard. The BYU students are better than this and they deserve better than this. I'm not falling for it. Please let us sit back at half court again!!! Or at the very least, do rotated, assigned seats for the best seats instead of first-come-first-serve (perhaps for an optional extra fee, since I know not all students can fit in the student section) so everyone can have the good seats once in awhile. I have a job and a bad back-- I can't camp out for 3 days before games to get good seats. And de-throne the headband guy. He's not BYU basketball's #1 fan-- I AM!!!