I’ve had this piece of paper sitting with my notes for four years now. Whenever I needed a quick laugh I’d glance at it, for the utter absurdity of it all, and get that needed grin out of the way. I owe Mansfield High School a ‘thank you.’
The piece of paper that I’ve been clinging to is a cheat sheet on how to cheer at a high school basketball game that was handed out to the student section at Mansfield High 4 years ago. That night I witnessed one of the greatest high school games I’ve ever seen in person, with a young Nelson Baptiste — a sophomore then, who graduated last year — hitting a heave from about 40-feet away at the buzzer to beat the Hornets. It was excellent (check it out below).
The piece of paper reads: CHANT LIST FOR THE HORNETS NEST. MAKE CONSTANT NOISE!!!
(thanks for the all caps guys, and in 14-point font, we needed that, and three exclamation marks, wow.)
NO Swearing (including sucks & sh**), opponent names, noise makers, signs, horns, no chants about officials.
(not an absurd request, but why can’t I reference my shoe? Also, what’s so bad about signs? How will the hearing impaired know what we’re saying?)
What really cracks me up about what follows are not just the suggested chants, but the explanations they give that follow.
1. “Let’s GO Hornets” 5 claps (start after each quarter/time out)
You know what, I feel that one. However, why do we need to remind the student body to chant the most relied upon chant in sports history. Were they really going to get home and say “I can’t believe we didn’t chant “Let’s go Hornets.” If we had maybe Baptiste wouldn’t have hit that heave.”
2. “DEFENSE” 2 claps (Random times during each quarter)
It really surprises me that the person that put this together didn’t remind the Hornets fans to chant for the defense when they were playing defense. By this time I’ve come to figure that with the MHS student body you can’t presume that they’ll know the right time to do it. Also, where’s the obligatory hyphen between the DE and the FENSE? Are we making too much of a leap that they’ll insert the syllables in the proper places?
3. “AIR BALL” (Any time a guy touches the ball after shooting the air ball)
Okay, I’m splitting hairs, but what is “the air ball.” It really should’ve read “an air ball.” The air ball sounds like a mystical part of the game that follows the free throw and the jump ball.
4. “You Can’t do that” (After travel or violation)
That chant used to make me laugh, but it’s been played out. I really want kids to start chanting “stop cheating” every time someone travels or is called for 3 seconds, it is infinitely funnier.
5. “AHAHAHAHAH” while jumping (Just like Duke fans to start the game)
Now, I know what they’re referring to is this
But, what it sounds like is that they want their fans to laugh uncontrollably and obnoxiously, more like this
6. “We have _________ (player name)” (After a big shot)
By now I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that this fan section really needs a director because I can’t see the group coming to a quorum on whether or not to use a first name or a last name or nickname. Let’s not even get into the cadence to use.
7. “WINNER TEAM, LOSING TEAM” (Point at each bench, and get faster an faster)
And what time during this pointing and shouting fit do you realize that your tense is completely off. Shouldn’t it be “winning team, losing team” or “winner team, loser team?” Pick a tense and stick with it please. Also, the use of all caps sporadically through this really started to get on my nerves, almost as much as the fact that someone thought a group of high school kids actually needed a piece of paper to tell them how to chant at a basketball game. I’ve been to Mansfield over the years, they’re not a bandwagon group. It’s one of the best athletic programs in the state, I think the kids would have been alright without the assist from a “helper” in the athletics office.
8. Count to 10 quickly while the opponent is at the foul line.
I’ve never seen this done at a game. I want to see if that actually works, I think it would be better in Spanish though.
9. “Any phrase” with 5 claps (say 3 times and stop NO NAMES, NO SWEARS)
I picture Eagle One sitting in his cruiser on Route 3, sipping his tea while clocking speeders chanting “Write your blog, write your blog, write your blog.” He has a hard time with the no names and swearing part though.
10. “Who was that to” (after a bad pass out of bounds)
Well, we’re going out on a whimper. Which seems fitting with this list of suggested chants. I’d still like to know what Mansfield has against shoes though.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.