The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

53° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Are you ready to bleed cardinal and navy?

    Ryan Caseyassistant sports editor
    Ryan Casey
    assistant sports editor

    Casey at the Bat

    Picked a major? Signed up for classes? Bought your books? Mapped out your living situation?

    Good.

    But are you ready to be a Wildcat?

    Are you ready to join the sea of red at Arizona Stadium, become one of the “”painteds”” in McKale Memorial Center, join the “”Hot Corner”” off Jerry Kindall Field’s third base side in Frank Sancet Stadium and cheer on the defending national champions that reside at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium?

    If so, class is in session – Wildcat 101 begins now.

    The first thing to remember (Rule No. 1) is that Wildcat fans don’t just show up – they participate.

    When Nick Folk, football’s redshirt senior kicker, lines up for a kickoff, get your keys out and shake them like there’s no tomorrow. “”Keys at Kickoff”” is a crucial way to help your Wildcats get jazzed just before kickoff.

    When 50 Arizona players on football head coach Mike Stoops’ sideline are telling you to bring the noise, bring the noise, but when they’re telling you to quiet down so super-sophomore quarterback Willie Tuitama can check off at the line, quiet down.

    When the crowd starts singing “”Bear Down, Arizona”” (Arizona’s official fight song), sing along. If you don’t know the words, hum along – then learn them.

    If the “”U-of-A, U-of-A”” chant breaks out – be it in McKale or McKale North (aka ASU basketball’s Wells Fargo Arena) – keep that school spirit flowing.

    (And know when to use each chant. Whereas “”Air-eh-zone-ah”” is reserved for pure domination situations – such as the football team’s 52-14 romp over then-No. 7 and undefeated UCLA on Homecoming last year – the “”U-of-A, U-of-A”” is more of a Shakur-to-McClellan-alley-oop-to-bring-down-the-house type of chant.)

    When the opponent’s starting five crackles over McKale’s PA system, turn your back. It’s not so much a gesture of disrespect, but more of a – who am I kidding, that’s exactly what it is. (This rule assumes you actually have tickets, meaning you’re dedicated enough to wake up at the crack of dawn for a crack at the hottest ticket in town.)

    Speaking of Lute’s squad, free throws are a crucial time in McKale. When a Wildcat comes to the line, hush up and thrust your arms into the air in anticipation of the made shot (the same goes for 3-point shots). But if an opponent is at the line, follow the pep band’s lead by jumping up and down and going crazy.

    And after a missed shot, let him know he missed: “”Nice shot, buddy!””

    When the “”Ooh-Aah Man”” (otherwise known as Tucson resident, Joe Cavaleri) makes a dramatic appearance in McKale, realize that you’re witnessing history. He’ll direct the crowd to a perfectly stunning rendition of the “”U-of-A, U-of-A”” chant, so get your cameras out.

    And, oh yeah, go nuts.

    When you arrive at Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium (which is named after two of the baseball program’s most prestigious coaches), sit along the third base side and follow the rest of the “”Hot Corner’s”” lead. In no time, your unofficial application for membership will be accepted.

    Which brings us to Rule No. 2: Wildcats fans don’t wear red and blue. They wear red and nothing else.

    The most popular shirt of choice is the one that comes along with your Zona Zoo membership, but any and every shirt shaded Wildcat Red is accepted (though body paint is the preferred method, just ask the guys in the front row in McKale).

    And while you’re wearing that red at the games, don’t forget Rule No. 3: The Zona Zoo student section doesn’t sit down. Ever.

    Are your legs getting tired? Does your back hurt? Feel like sitting down during that crucial third-and-short? Think again. The following are the generally accepted times to sit down at basketball and football games: halftime.

    And what better time than halftime to brush up on a few final reminders on how to put the “”Zoo”” in Zona Zoo:

    Make sure you get to Arizona Stadium early, as that’s the only way to get good seats in the general admission student section, but don’t leave at halftime. Are you there to watch football or to socialize?

    And while you’re there, be sure to enjoy games your Wildcats win. But don’t gloat. Act like you’ve seen your team win before.

    Should there ever be a time that your beloved Wildcats find themselves in an underdog role yet still come out on top, celebrate the upset to high heaven, just make sure the clock has hit triple zeros. Last year, hundreds of students delayed the end of the Wildcats stunning Homecoming upset of UCLA by hopping the fences with more than a minute left on the clock.

    And, above all, come to realize that Arizona Athletics is family, a family that extends to the people that support it. As men’s basketball assistant coach Josh Pastner said, “”We have the greatest fans in the world.””

    “”A lot of people just say that because they have to,”” he added. “”We’re saying it because it’s the truth.””

    In time, you’ll come to realize you’ve got some big expectations to live up to, but until then, welcome to the family.

    Ryan Casey is a journalism senior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu

    More to Discover
    Activate Search