SPORTS

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January 14, 2005

Heckle away your winter blues at Maroons games

Attending the University of Chicago inherently subjects students to extreme stress and rage levels. Every year, usually sometime in frigid February, the deep sadness in all of us takes over and begins to influence our every thought. For some reason, at around this time, everyone at this school gets really angry.

Maybe it's the weather in Chicago, maybe it's our ultimate nerdiness, or maybe it's just the awareness that we attend the U of C, but there is no denying the rage and fury that lies just beneath the surface of every Chicago student. One only has to look at our Facebook groups ("I Hate This School" and "No One at this School Says Hi") or our T-shirt slogans (i.e. "The Level of Hell Dante Forgot") to comprehend the depth of the turmoil within us all.

With most students ready to go off the deep end at any moment, we need to think of ways to soothe our unstable brethren. Keeping this in mind, I believe I've found the perfect solution: Heckling opponents at Chicago basketball games. Think about it, where else can you belittle, yell at, and creatively insult other people in a socially acceptable and encouraging environment?

By coming up with witty and abrasive insults you can relieve some of that festering rage and, at the same time, help our basketball team by effectively crushing a player's soul. Just pass off those unstable and dangerous tendencies to another person!

And I'm not talking about your typical, mindless "air ball" chants. Creative heckling allows us to assert both our athletic and intellectual superiority over opposing schools. Two years ago the guy next to me was heckling a Wash U player named Eric Ripley, at one point calling out, "Hey Ripley! Believe it or not, but you're still terrible!"

Because of Ratner's intimate size, opposing players, coaches, and the officials can almost always hear every word you yell. Closely witnessing the utter devastation and havoc you bring on Chicago's opponents is a deeply satisfying experience. Coming out of a game I feel relieved and happy, as if a sudden weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Life at the U of C becomes bearable again.

Now I know the recent incident in the NBA might lead you to point out the negative effects that heckling can have. But that incident was heckling in its lowest form: drunken, mindless shouting, throwing beer cups; quite offensive really. What I'm talking about is a refined art┬Śnay, a masterpiece┬Śwhich will ruthlessly stymie opponents and save you hours of therapy.

So I invite all of you to the games tonight at 6 and 8 p.m. against Emory and to all the games in the future. Sit down, think of a comment, and let it out. You'd be surprised at how much better you feel afterwards. Maybe then our experience here at Chicago will be collectively happier.