Because the Bearcats don’t have the best win/loss record, our basketball games can be slightly depressing. That is, unless, you know what you’re doing. To fully enjoy a Binghamton University basketball game, you don’t need to know much about the Bearcats, or even much about basketball, as long as you follow these steps:
Download Binghamton’s P.R.I.D.E. app
The P.R.I.D.E. app (Proudly Rewarding Involvement Dedication & Enthusiasm), available for Android and iPhone, doesn’t only let you know when home games are — it can get you free stuff. When attending a game, you can virtually “check in” on the app to gain points toward awards and prizes.
Check B-Line for free giveaways
Binghamton Athletics and Sodexo often give away free beanies, T-shirts or tank tops to the first 500 fans who show up to each game. Students who don’t check B-Line on game day will be left in the dark. If apparel is being given away, make sure to get there at least an hour early. We think it’s worth the free pinny.
We may not have fierce colors like some other schools do, but it’s always good to display some pride. Wear something green to the game to show your support for the school. If you really want to get into it, paint your face or even your chest. Because why not?
Check in with BU Zoo and learn your cheers
The BU Zoo really turned sports games around this semester. They attend all home basketball games and even give away free shirts if you sign up for their listserv. As you walk in, make sure to grab a cheer sheet so you know what cheers they’ll be doing. Some of the BU Zoo’s cheers are funny even if they’re non sequitur. One standout cheer is when a cheerleader repeatedly yells, “Give me a B!” with the crowd responding “B!” a number of times until they ask, “What does that spell?” and everyone responds, “Bbbbbbbb.” It’s cute, and while our guys may be struggling on the court, we still have fun in the stands.
Know which cheers are appropriate for each time
For those of you who don’t know basketball cheering etiquette, here’s a brief 101: When we’re playing defense against the other team, chant, “De-fense” with two claps. When the ball is on our court, cheer for our team. When a Bearcat is shooting a free throw, put your hands in the air and wiggle your spirit fingers while keeping silent so that the player can concentrate. When they make a free throw, follow band leader, Mo, and beat your chest twice and stomp your feet once or twice depending on how many shots we made. When a player from the opposing team shoots free throws, make as much noise as you can. Don’t wait for the ball to go up in the air, start yelling when he prepares to take his shot — get into his head.
Sports games really are all about food, aren’t they? For some reason, eating food while watching the game makes the whole experience feel much more authentic. Grab some popcorn, eat some nachos or buy a pretzel. You want to make sure that you overload on carbs and have enough energy to last the whole game cheering on Jordan Reed, Yosef Yacob and Marlon Beck II.
Know the starting players’ names
If you know who’s playing on the court, you’ll feel more connected to the players and the game. You can even cheer for them by name and choose a few favorites.
There’s only one home game left, and we urge you, fellow Bearcats, to make your way to the Events Center. Get some free swag, munch on some nachos, paint your face and cheer your hearts out. Students who cheer the loudest and display BU pride and spirit are more likely to catch the T-shirts the cheerleaders throw out, and you may even win a free Nirchi’s pizza! You’ll find the basketball games much more enjoyable even if we lose the game. The final home game is at 2 p.m. on March 2 against Vermont. See you there!