When you’re at a game, pretty much no matter where, you can expect some staple chants. You got your “Let’s go [home team], let’s go!” There’s your even more standard “D!!! Fense!!!!”. And even the endangered classic, “CHARGE!!”.
But what’s really great about going to the game is getting to see how the local fans cheer on their heroes and bond with one another. Most good home venues have their little charms that make them unique. Whether it’s singing “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway, struggling to hear the female PA announcer at AT&T Field, or screaming “O’s!!” during the closing stanza of the National Anthem at Camden Yards, the best home fans always have a trick up their sleeves.
I’ve always been partial to giving my boys encouragement by calling them by their first names. I can’t really explain it. Maybe it makes me feel like I’m actually friends with the player, or will be in the future. Maybe it’s because all the best players are referred to by their first names (LeBron, Kobe, Carmelo) and I want my guys to feel like they’re in that class. Whatever the reason, I like doing it and you’re not going to stop me.
The other night at Oracle Arena, I heard the simplest, most inexplicable yell/cheer/chant I’ve ever heard and it is now my favorite line. When a home player was fouled and stepped up to the free throw line, a presumably intoxicated man would loudly and unashamedly feel the need to cheer them on.
The first time I heard this yell was after a wild Jarrett Jack drive into the lane that somehow ended up with him drawing a foul. Right before Jarrett took his first free throw, it was our mystery fan’s time to shine. I need to editorialize his actions here a bit because I never did see him: He placed his beer in the cup holder attached to the seat in front of him, cleared his throat, created a megaphone with his hands and yelled “You’re doing it Jarrett! You’re doing it!”
Each word and every syllable was enunciated methodically and purposefully. Confused but amused fans looked around for the genius culprit who was responsible for this strange encouragement. After a few seconds of searching, everyone let out a pretty hearty laugh, empowering our new favorite fan even more the next time around. David Lee was fouled on the block and as he stepped up to the line we were all treated with: “You’re doing it David! You’re doing it!”
Now, you probably have some questions about the nature of this chant. What exactly were the players doing? Why yell before the free throw was made? Could the players hear him and if so, did it help them? I wish I had answers for you. The great thing about the chant is, I’m not sure it matters.
All I can hope is that this yell somehow catches on and becomes an arena-wide chant. I’m going to do all that I can to make this happen, not only at Oracle but at arenas all across the land.
So dear readers, be my ambassadors. Grab some friends, a few cups of liquid courage and chant away. I won’t be satisfied until I hear this cheer on TNT and Charles Barkley talks about it on Inside the NBA. Shouldn’t be too hard.