This weekend, the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project returns to “The World’s Most Famous Arena”. Our blue-collar VCU Rams will face the blue-blood Duke Blue Devils Friday night in what looks to be the matchup of the year for the Rams. Most VCU fans have been discussing how Coach Will Wade will prepare against legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is coming off a NCAA Championship season. As for myself, the matchup I am most looking forward to this weekend is the Cameron Crazies vs. the Rowdy Rams.
As a young boy growing up in New Jersey’s Highlands region, I was a die-hard Duke fan. Although Duke has had tremendous success since the ’95-’96 season, this was not the reason I was glued to the television every time they played on ESPN. I was absolutely mesmerized by the Cameron Crazies. To understand why, take this excerpt from the Cameron Crazies home page on www.goduke.com:
The Crazies are among the most innovative, passionate and sometimes intimidating fans in all of sports. They are copied, but never matched. Lines form early for entrance into a game, which is one of the toughest tickets in college athletics. For many years, the Crazies have taken it to another extreme. Nowhere else in college basketball will more than 1,200 brave the elements throughout the season in a tent city erected outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium – known as Krzyzewskiville – just to get a seat at a Blue Devil game.
When applying for colleges, my number one priority was obviously academics, but my second priority was school pride. I begged my father to take my brother and I to the 2012 CAA Championships at the Richmond Coliseum because I knew it’d be the last chance we’d get to watch the Rams play for a conference championship here in Richmond. After attending and watching VCU defeat George Mason and Drexel in order to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA, I knew I was no longer a Cameron Crazy, I had become a Rowdy Ram. Hearing 12,000 VCU fans do the War Chant after hoisting the Championship trophy is a moment I will never forget.
I’ve now been a Rowdy Ram for four years, and am currently serving on the Rowdy Ram Leadership Team as the Director of Travel. This spring I will be graduating. Unfortunately, this is my last year as a Rowdy Ram, along with the majority of the Leadership Team members. We are trying to make this year the best year yet, surpassing our 2013 Naismith Student Section of the Year Award winning season.
When it was announced that Radford would be coming to the Stu to take on the Rams, one of our fans decided to get creative. They decided to make signs in order to emulate the spirit of competition that College Gameday has and to create a good laugh between the fans of both schools. The Rowdy Rams were the only ones who were laughing. Radford fans, students, and alumni were pissed. Many took to social media to defend their degrees.
“It’s easy to run your mouth, but a true gentleman lets the smack linger like a well-aged Scotch might on the tip of one’s tongue. The trick is to leave the better man, possibly forcing your victim to get so badly burned that he thanks you for the tan.” Social-media outlets like Twitter bring fans closer to the action and actually let you direct a specific heckle if you so choose. Of course, there is a very obvious line between innocuous heckling, and offensive bullying, so traipse carefully.
With our long-time rivals Old Dominion University coming to the Stu next weekend, I know I’ll be making a sign. I encourage all Rowdy Rams and VCU fans to join myself in creating a College Gameday atmosphere that welcomes the Monarchs to our University.