Class of 2023, your time has come! All you bright-eyed, bushy-tailed young bloods that chose one of the most athletically prestigious universities in the country have a lot to learn before your first time in the student section. Luckily for you, this grizzled old super senior (lesson number one, sometimes college takes longer than you expected) is here to pass down his wisdom to keep you from embarrassing yourself in front of your fellow Huskies at your first UConn game.
The UConn Huskies chant
If you learn anything from your first year at UConn, make sure it is what to do when you hear somebody at any UConn game scream, “UConn!” By cupping your hands around your mouth, tilting your head back and yelling “UConn,” you initiate what is known as the UConn Huskies chant. In response to the initial “UConn,” everybody else in the crowd responds with a loud “Huskies!” This is done three total times, then we take the advice of the great Missy Elliot and we flip it and reverse it. The person who started the chant then calls out “Huskies,” which is followed by the crowd yelling out one last “UConn,” before everyone does their best Jonathan impression and belts out a loud, low-pitched “WOOF!” In summary, the chant should go like this:
Person 1: “UConn!” Crowd: “Huskies!”
P1: “UConn!” Crowd: “Huskies!”
P1: “UConn!” Crowd: “Huskies!”
P1: “Huskies!” Crowd: “UConn!”
Jingle your keys and GET LOUD on third down
Here’s another piece of student section etiquette for you: Make as much noise as possible at football games when the opponent has the ball and our defense has them in a third down situation. The purpose of this is to disrupt the opposing offense’s on-field communication and amplify any nerves they may feel. Methods may include yelling and stomping the bleachers, but what is absolutely required from you as a UConn student is you must jingle your keys as loud as you can. Car keys, dorm keys, it doesn’t matter as long as they make that sweet, sweet jingle. Put that new UConn orientation lanyard to work! This may not have worked last season (I don’t know if you heard, but we had the worst college football defense of all time), but that must’ve been because we just weren’t jingling those dang keys loud enough! Imagine the “More Cowbell” SNL skit, but with keys. That’s what I want to see.
The Ice Bus
Come hockey season, you’ll hear a lot of chatter about the Ice Bus. But what exactly is it? Literally, the Ice Bus is what we call the bus that takes students from campus to hockey games at the XL Center. The student section at hockey games is also referred to as the Ice Bus, since it is assumed that most of the students arrived to XL on the bus. But figuratively, the Ice Bus is an attitude. “Ice Bus” is saying “people forget UConn is a hockey school,” every chance you get. “Ice Bus” is screaming “POWER PLAY!” at the top of your lungs when the opponent skates to the penalty box. “Ice Bus” is Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, free beanies and just enjoying all of the excitement of a UConn hockey game with your fellow Huskies.
Know your UConn sports history
It’s time for a little history lesson. I don’t care if you aren’t a history major, now listen up! As you may or may not know, in 2014, both the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as field hockey, won the national championship. In fact, this wasn’t the first time that both Husky basketball teams took home the natty. In 2004, UConn legends Diana Taurasi, Jessica Moore, Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor immortalized their teams with championships. Aside from 2004 and 2014, the women won the national championship in 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, with the men also winning in 1999 and 2011. I’m sure you already knew about our storied basketball program, but breaking down that we won 16 national championships in the sport since 1995 really puts it in perspective. Plus, it leads me into my next lesson…
Connecticut is the basketball capital of the world
And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Nobody can boast the achievements earned by the legends that have come through Storrs like we can. Geno Auriemma and Jim Calhoun (sorry Ollie but we’re still mad at you) groomed dozens of the best basketball players to step on the hardwood. Not every school has a moment as iconic as Kemba Walker’s stepback over Pittsburgh, or runs of consecutive championships like the women’s 2002-2004 three-peat and 2013-2016 Breanna Stewart-led four-peat. UConn is a basketball powerhouse, and now you get to be a part of it.
Beef with Muffet McGraw
After Geno sent McGraw packing in the 2013 Final Four and the 2014 and 2015 National Championship games, the longtime Notre Dame coach got revenge on the GOAT by bouncing UConn from the Final Four in each of the last two seasons. Last season, McGraw showed Auriemma up by dancing on the court right in front of him, and needless to say, as a fanbase, we are MAD. She danced on our graves in front of the entire nation, and as a result our rivalry with Notre Dame is as hot as ever. This season, it’s up to Megan Walker, Crystal Dangerfield, Christyn Williams and hopefully Evina Westbrook (she’s a transfer from Tennessee that needs to clear waivers for permission to play this season) to get revenge on the dancing queen.
UConn isn’t in the Big East just yet
This season, UConn will play the American Athletic Conference schedule that they originally planned to play before the move into the new Big East. It’s been reported that UConn won’t officially join the Big East until July 1, 2020. So if everything goes right, UConn will play a Big East schedule in every sport besides football, men’s and women’s ice hockey and rowing next season. Returning to the Big East is going to be the talk of the town all season, so it’s important that you know that the move won’t be in effect this season, but probably will the next.
Sean Janos is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.