What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Orange Army

Few things get the derelict student more excited than the rush of loud audiences at a sporting event. While we enjoy noise outside the organized “stand up and scream” chaos of athletics - I’m thinking of the occasional amateur guitar “entertainer” on the campus' main lawn - the possibility of getting a T-shirt for our efforts gives incentive and purpose to our vocal straining.

As a proud member of the Derelict Class (that’s a step below the step below the “welfare class” and a hair above the “utterly and completely useless class”), I feel an urgent need to network with other sporting enthusiasts. At the Men’s Basketball team’s last exhibition home game, I got that opportunity.

The Orange Army is a motley collection of under-performing jocks, mis-fits and C-students who organize to rout for the home team from the sideline. They wear unflattering colors and shout unflattering things at the visiting team from a platform just close enough to center stage to appease their egoism. After one look at the writhing collection of impromptu cheerleaders, I knew I had what it took.

The first five minutes were excellent. The army’s “volume is required, intelligence not essential SIR” motto fit well with my basic life philosophy. Our fearless leader, a metabolically thin student with a goofy orange hard hat inscribed with the words “Orange Army Leader,” brought us all together for a pep talk (“leave nothing untoward unsaid”) and we declared our readiness with a few “hoorahs.”

Then reality set in. Most fans - especially the visiting team’s aficionados who were seated less than thirty feet to our left - are not keen on having their viewing experience interrupted by boisterous enthusiasts like us. The event organizers sent down a security guard who stood between the visiting team’s fans and us as we shouted epithets at each other. I’d seen something similar on Jerry Springer once, but I’d never experienced it in person. I was disappointed at the security guard’s bulk, but was encouraged by the imposing weapon poised on his hip.

Anthony Brown, one of the captains for the home team, was getting mad. A couple of the referees had made horrendous calls (“Hey, Zebra! Your mom could have made that call better!”) and, while we did our best to point it out (“Yo stripes! When was the last time you had that prescription refilled?”), Brown was having a hard time keeping his emotions in check.

So he threw his headband into the stands. More specifically Brown threw his headband toward the Orange Army. It landed within a stride of me. I was elated to have a souvenir from the game. I reached out to pick it up when I noticed something.

A trail of sweat coated the hardwood from where the sweatband had first struck the ground until it ceased its movement. From where I stood, I could see that the material of the cloth was drenched; it glistened like Jeremiah Wright in a sermon. I hesitated, not wanting to carry a cup of Brown’s sweat with me the rest of the day but wanting to avoid the appearance of weakness in front of the other orange soldiers.

Finally, our fearless leader reached down and picked up up. He paused only a second before placing the soaked sweatband on his own forehead and releasing a rebel yell, which we returned. We respected him all the more for the drops which mosied down his face like tears he didn’t cry.

We’ll be out there next home game in full regalia. If you take pride in your dereliction, you’ll be there too.


you'll never know said...

dude, why is the guy in the pic a hunchback?

AMRUNNER said...

It's a backpack!