It was with great interest that I read your article on the pioneering exploits of W-Head John Saxton.
I have been attending Maroons basketball games since the late ’90s, and have had the privilege of watching this program adapt, grow, and succeed. From the first games I attended on the near-secret second floor court at Crown Hall to this past weekend’s clutch victory over NYU at the Rat, the U of C basketball program has impressed me with its dedication to its players, its fans and, the University. Through this time, I have seen student attendance ebb and flow.
Three years ago, I was pleased to witness Mr. Saxton’s courtside appearance (and his brief “Pointer Sign” disappearance…). His enthusiasm, energy, and dare I say spirit truly elevated the game experience for me and my family. More importantly, Mr. Saxton’s efforts brought out a new and energized student body to the games. I believe that Mr. Saxton deserves sole credit for changing the fan culture of U of C basketball.
With Mr. Saxton’s graduation approaching, this 2006—2007 season will be the last that we will enjoy his clever heckles, non-stop banter, and super-sized courtside presence. While his attendance at games will change forever, his place in U of C basketball history must be remembered and celebrated.
I encourage the Maroon staff, U of C athletic department, U of C athletes, and the whole of the U of C student body along with alumni, fans, and neighbors, to attend the final U of C home basketball game against Emory on Saturday, February 11. I propose that we honor Mr. Saxton alongside those seniors on the team, all of whom have contributed so much to the fans and the University. And, perhaps finally, we can tell W-Head: You will be missed, your efforts are appreciated, and we will never, ever forget you.