What mania?

Feb 102002

Man, what happened here? Time was, Moby Arena had a certain “Mania” attached to it.

Time was, that mania had “Maniacs” as well.

Time was.

In reality, there’s only one Moby Maniac anymore (that guy with the afro wig) and even HE isn’t showing up. The Moby Maniacs are like the Jedi Knights – all but extinct.

These days, the only real mania to speak of off Shields and Elizabeth is double-stamp Tuesday at Q’doba.

Don’t misunderstand me; there’s plenty happening on the basketball floor. In fact, we’re in the thick of an intriguing era for Ram hoops here.

The women are at the peak of their game. They have been ranked all year; they’re a lock for the NCAA Tournament and damn near the brink of perennial national respect.

On the other side of the coin is the men’s team, which finds itself holding its head just above the rising flood of the rebuilding process. Yeah, they’ve seen better days (their total suspensions and injuries are nearly equal with their wins), but keep in mind this is a young team with a relatively new coaching staff. Think of them as a dynasty in waiting. Okay, more like a solid team in waiting.

Where has all the mania gone?

Let me start by saying the whole “we suck as fans” angle is getting a little tired. What’s it been, like, two hours since someone’s written about this? “We’re fair-weather fans – blah, blah – you should be ashamed – blah, blah…” And on and on we go.

What’s happened is that Ram sports, on the whole, have become too good. So good that everyone paying their way into games (and even students who get in free) have begun to take CSU athletic success for granted.

Moby games have become like a movie – people show up expecting to sit back and be entertained, not caring to cheer or get involved. Were it not for the band, that place would have all the atmosphere of the Larimer County morgue. The small crowd of old boosters is practically comatose. (I’ll swear I once heard an old man yelling, “Turn it down!”)

What’s really sad is it no longer matters if the team’s winning or losing; basketball games have lost their status as an “event.” Why has this happened? A few thoughts:

No buzz. When’s the last time you overheard someone on campus saying, “Hey! You going to the basketball game tonight!?!” Yeah, still waiting on that one.

No buzz. Contrary to football games, alcohol is not available at hoops games. You think most students make the three-mile trek out to Hughes because San Diego State is in town? They’re there to get plowed. Speaking of-

Moby is an awkward environment for drunken hooligans. At Hughes, the student stands are like a separate culture. Where else can you scream obscenities and cop a feel while looking for some whiskey to dip your pretzel into? (Ain’t America grand?) There’s a reason the student’s seats at Hughes are far away from everyone else – students don’t show up to sports because they’re looking to behave themselves. Which reminds me-

Old boosters have turned Moby into their personal country club. Students share turf with their elders at Moby, and the few that do show up often get looks like they’re trying to sneak into the sauna.

As a columnist I’m supposed to offer answers, but at this point, all I can say is there’s a problem no drunken whiskey pretzel is soon to solve.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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