A User Guide to Sagehen-Stag Basketball

This time of year is a stressful one, and amidst the senior mess of theses, special projects, job or graduate school applications, and finals, it is important to give thanks for a few good things in order to appreciate the positives in life. To accomplish this, I am currently living for three things: John Seery’s senior seminar, Saturday afternoons, and the Pomona-Pitzer vs. CMS basketball games next semester.

For the first-years out there, I am going to acclimate you to the importance that is the Sagehen-Stag rivalry. For those of you that aren’t first-years but still have not attended a game, I am here to inform you that it isn’t too late to redeem yourself. Well, that, and I hate you and we probably aren’t friends. And for the rest that have experienced the joy of profanity-laced CMC-related chants, simply remember that, as of press time, we only have 54 more days until the Stags visit Rains center for the first time. To commemorate the occasion, here are some helpful tips for attending a Sagehens-Stags basketball game.

1. Come dressed in as much blue and orange as possible. This probably seems quite obvious, but CMS does a great job of painting their fan-base in as much nauseating scarlet as they can dig up. Also, the ASPC sports committee will be sponsoring a “white-out” of CMS in the home-game 54 days from now. We will be handing out free white t-shirts to the first 300-or-so fans. Not only does the promotion look really cool, but it is a great way to get everybody on the same page.

2. I really don’t exaggerate when I say that this sporting event is the most exciting of the year. Both Pomona-Pitzer and CMS have gyms that are small enough that they fill up completely to the brim with rowdy college students and fans. The great part about the proximity of the rivalry is that you have an even amount of Sagehen and Stag supporters. When faced with a sea of Stag supporters, you come to realize that you really do hate them, and that nothing less than a win is acceptable. This helps the game take on a new meaning. The small gyms keep the noise enclosed, allowing the crowd to get louder and louder, and you start to fantasize about what you can yell at the CMS side during the next timeout. Here is what you need to know about chants:

– I am still on the fence about the “YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU suuuuuuuck” chant, which starts when a CMS player makes a mistake and you want to point out his transgression to the world. Generally, everybody starts out on the same page—“you”—but the rhythm gets messed up, and the “suck” is all over the place. On the other hand, this seems pretty popular, so let’s just try to clean up our execution a bit, shall we?- Unfortunately, now that I think about it, that is the only chant I can discuss that is *relatively* fit for print. We always have the same old “let’s go Sagehens.” But that is usually countered by a “’blank’ the Sagehens” from the CMS fans. Which then, of course, devolves into a Sagehen fan’s profanity-laced tirade about the meatiness of the CMS kid in the first row. It really is marvelous. Don’t forget, when they do the “C M S” chant, feel free to insert a word after the S. The moral of the story: don’t let them get the last word.-Trump card. “Safe-ty school” “Safe-ty school.” The other trump card seems to be “Tom Church” which was quite popular last year.-Basically, what I am telling you is that any chant that reminds CMS that they are generally worthless is considered proper.

3. If you go to one sporting event this year, this should be it. This is always the loudest, highly attended game. Everybody will be there. If I can’t make you go by telling you how fun it is to just yell at CMS kids for an hour, I can at least try to peer pressure you.

4. We really do play an entertaining brand of basketball. Coach Charles Katsiaficas espouses a “run and gun” mentality. We have an athletic team that loves to spread the court and push the ball forward. Hell, even our big man Justin Sexton PO ’10 loves to shoot the three-ball. Ladies and gentlemen, this means that the team has to be extra fit to keep the tempo high. If the game of basketball doesn’t interest you, at least let its aesthetics keep you entertained.

5. This also means that the game is an exciting one. Rising in unison with your fellow fans after Adam Chaimowitz PO ’10 or David Liss PO ’10 hits a three is what the joys of fandom are all about. You love to watch your team succeed.

6. We should have a very competitive team this year. We kept most of the major pieces of our second-place team last year, and these guys are hungry to avenge last year’s season-ending loss against CMS.

7. I am not joking when I say that one of my top-three best memories at Pomona College was storming the court with the rest of the student section after we beat CMS in the 2008 SCIAC Championship Game in overtime, and then singing all the way back to my dorm to prepare for Smiley 80s. The game was thrilling and came down to the last possession. It made it all the better that CMS avenged the defeat with a win last year. This year should be even more intense. The rivalry is real. Wear it.

8. School spirit. Chirp, bitch? We need more of it. You should be proud to go to this school, and proud to support your basketball team in the biggest game of the year. I can’t stress this enough. Trust me, this is worth caring about. 9. If yelling, excitement, free-stuff, attractiveness, nostalgia, competence, and school spirit doesn’t persuade you, I don’t know what else to say. I will move to point 10.

10. This will take about 2 hours out of your night. If you are stressed, just go to yell. Everybody loves to yell. And everybody loves to yell for free. If you don’t understand basketball? Doesn’t matter, it is an easy game to follow and you will pick it up fast. I can guarantee that this will be worth your night. Rivalry games are the best part of sports. Everybody amps up the intensity even more, and as a crowd, you are able to insert yourself into the game. The guys love to play in front of an appreciative, packed house.

The first Pomona-Pitzer-CMS game will take place at Pomona’s Rains Center on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Keep your eyes out for more free promotional events from the ASPC sports committee, and good luck with finals…

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