I love college basketball. The crazy fans and how close they are to the game make for such a surreal atmosphere, one of the more unique experiences in sports. As a diehard sports fan, I've always said that at some point I have to make a trip down to Cameron Indoor for a UNC-Duke game, merely for crowd experience. I just wish Conte Forum was anything like that. The crowds at the basketball games are downright depressing. As a member of one of the country's best hoops conferences, BC should be embarrassed by the "Superfans", and I'm tired of it. Fortunately, there are 12 sophomores that are willing to do something about it.
Allow me to introduce The Book of Donahue: an entirely student-run organization determined to change the landscape of BC hoops. As freshmen last year, the founding members showed up to games and were naturally discouraged by the pathetic student section.
"This is an ACC school, there's no reason that these seats should be empty."
Eager to make the section more exciting, they showed up dressed as disciples bearing a sign that preached the primary beliefs of their group.
"And then God said, 'Let there be 3s,' and the 3s were good." Steve 1:3
They reached out to Coach Donahue towards the end of last season in order to get the ball rolling. As the season wound down, it was hard for the group to gain momentum. Upon returning to school for this fall semester, they met with Donahue again who was immediately receptive to the idea.
"He knows how important the crowd is in college basketball; he wants to have a home court advantage."
The founders recruited the rest of its members to solidify Donahue's Disciples, twelve guys prepared to spread the good word and get Conte Forum rockin'. The goal is ambitious, but the rationale is sound.
"The team is young, the team is scrappy. We're going to get to watch these guys play and grow together through their 4 years [at BC]. We've got a new coach in the first year with his own recruits, we've got to support them."
And these guys aren't just students looking for another social event on campus, they understand the impact that the crowd at basketball games can have.
"If a recruit visited for a game last year and saw those crowds, there's no way they'd want to play here. No one wants to play in an empty gym. The ACC is on the rise and we've got to make BC a place where people want to play."
How will the Book of Donahue ignite a relatively apathetic basketball fan base?
"We're meeting with BC Marketing. We want to organize road trips to Holy Cross and Providence. We're going to hold events, cookouts and such, to get students involved. We'll start with the freshmen. They're easiest to brainwash."
I admittedly chuckled at the use of the word brainwash to describe the process we have to use to get students out to the games, but it's accurate. Every freshmen knows that they are going to the first football game. It doesn't matter how hapless the team, the students usually show up to watch football. And they keep coming back. It's the thing to do on Saturdays. It's a social event and it starts and ends with the fans. The average BC student enjoys the football games, not because they love watching the team (unless they are a masochist), but because everyone else is there. Get students out to the games and even more students will follow. The Book of Donahue intends on being the first step towards changing the culture of BC hoops.
"In 5 years, we'll have graduated and look back to see students joining and continuing the Book of Donahue; that's the vision."
It remains to be seen if the Book of Donahue's ideas can become actuality, but they've got the right idea.
"We're going to have t-shirts made. We want the group to stand out and people will want to join."
It's about time BC students took some initiative and created some excitement on their own. Truthfully, if I weren't writing for BCI, I'd be first in line to become one of Donahue's Disciples. The concept is great and the timing is impeccable. BC has a new, competent head coach with young players. They play a fun style of basketball. There will undoubtedly be growing pains, but something special could be in the works for BC hoops. The fans need to take notice and the Book of Donahue intends to spread the word.
BC Basketball tips off in 28 days. You can follow the Book of Donahue on Twitter for more updates about the group.