Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Camp Hill "Crazies"

Two years ago, I stood in a crowd amongst fifty of my peers attempting to fester the word "diesel" into the mind of the huskiest kid on the Middletown boys varsity basketball team. Mission accomplished; several of his crucial foul shots were missed as we narrowly defeated the Blue Raiders in the closing seconds of the game. Although yesterday, when a player from the same opposition tossed up an abysmal shot late in the third-quarter, not even an "airball" chant followed. Described by a Lion witnessing our performance from the floor as "a disgrace to be blunt," the Camp Hill Crazies have definitely seen their better days. With that said, here are some things I believe our section is lacking:

Sole Leader- Back in the day, Colin Hester, was the pinnacle of high school student section leaders. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable of the atmosphere, Colin did a phenomenal job conducting our basketball supporters. Not only did he dictate chants, get the most out of surrounding individuals, and think of fun and creative ways to showcase our section during games, but he also was great at uniting the section as one and making everyone feel valued as a Crazy. Due to this attribute, many "on-the-fence" supporters not only started coming to games, but even began actively participating in chants believing their hand-swing might be the one to force the opponent's foul-shot wide. If someone could fill this void as Crazies leader, not only do I think our section attendance would increase, but group involvement would also amplify.

Focus on the Game- If you've ever taken the time to look around during a game, it's pretty embarrassing. With half the "Crazies" engulfed in their phones or averted from the game, talking to their friends a few rows back, you wonder if students even know a game's going on right in front of them. I understand high school sports games can be social events, but you have to remember what you paid your $4 for. The constant breaks, timeouts, and pauses between quarters aren't just there to give the players a break, they're for the fans too. Take advantage of these intervals to talk to John or Sally about the chemistry exam you had yesterday; but once the whistle blows your focus should change. With our purpose being to cheer on our team while discouraging the opposition in an attempt to sway the outcome of the game, fans have a larger impact than we might think; they're called the "6th or 12th man" for a reason. With that said, if the Crazies can put an active effort into watching the game a bit more than what we have been, I not only think participation and influence will increase, but so will people's appreciation for the sport itself.

Event Promotion- There's a reason why every ESPN commercial break showcases upcoming bowl games or lackluster NBA bouts; because otherwise nobody would know or care about these events. By advertising games as early as possible, in addition to hyping up pre-game beef between opposing players, sports networks are able to maximize their viewer turnout. Although commercials aren't an option for us at the high school level, many other forms of promotion could greatly increase our student section attendance for games. In-school announcements could be used to highlight theme nights and half-time events for upcoming games. Social media can also be a great help, not only by more heavily advertising games, but also by continuing to stir the pot with rival school prior to the big game. With these new concepts in place, the average Crazies' attendance could hopefully get back to what it used to be.

With these things stated and the Shamrocks coming to town for our next display, I sure hope we can return to form and not embarrass ourselves under the brightest lights of the season.

3 comments:

  1. Adam,

    I will say that this blog post got me kind of hype while reading it. I appreciate how you wish our student section was at the same level of intensity as it was two years ago (which was substantial). Hester and Co. really did do a great job of getting the other students into the game. However, I still believe that you have to give credit where credit is due. The crazies are still providing a fantastic effort, specifically last Friday night against Trinity. This was arguably the most important win in Camp Hill history (in terms of rivalry games) and I know for a fact that I will remember that for the rest of my life (which the crazies were heavily a part of). The 29 year streak has been broken and I believe the season is only really beginning in terms of playoff seeding, playoffs, and eventually the district 'ship. Having that said, we're going to need the crazies in full force until March. On another note, I think the only adjustments necessary to be made are the chants in-game. I know that the chants have been limited by the AD, but I believe if someone has to be kicked out in order for a good chant, so be it.

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  2. I see you Jonesy. I’ll admit we’ve been a little off our game at times this year, but I sure did have fun on Friday watching our guys embarrass the recruits from that church over behind the Wendy’s. Despite some pregame disagreements with some of the higher-ups, I think we successfully kept our energy up all game and came right up to the acceptable line of rowdiness without getting yelled at too badly. I’m sorry you couldn’t have been there, buddy, what a rotten day to have to get your wisdom teeth out. I think you would have been proud of us though and we’ll be excited to have you at the next one.

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  3. Adam,
    I’ll have to agree with you that the Camp Hill student section has not been the same with the void Colin Hester left as the student section leader. He was as dynamic student section leader that managed to unite the students to form the influential sixth or twelfth man, like you said. The fans can make more of a difference than they realize on the game, just like the fans at CenturyLink Field making it near impossible for visiting NFL teams to win in Seattle. I remember that Middletown game and the joy that consumed the Camp Hill Crazies after seeing the impact we had on the outcome of the crucial free-throw shots… and it was hysterical.

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