At San Diego State, “The Show” has become as famous as the teams it cheers.
“The Show” is the student section that has made the “I believe” chant famous as they belt it out just before the tip-off of every basketball game. Their noise and energy has become a symbol for how a student section should work at a university’s athletic events.
Tim Brogdon, the director of student services inASCSU, has seen what “The Show” does, and the up-and-down quality of CSU’s student sections, and decided to do something about it.
He created Ram Ruckus, a student fan group he intends on becoming the catalyst to help CSU sports “Defend the Fort.”
“If we can start that idea of ‘this is what you do, this is how it works at CSU’, you join this group, it will hopefully jump start this idea of ‘ok, this is the thing to do,’” Brogdon said.
With Brogdon’s proposal for the group, and the backing of ASCSU, the athletic department jumped on board to connect with Ram Ruckus in hopes of matching “The Show,” or doing better.
“That’s obviously our pattern, that’s our model, but we want to be bigger and better than San Diego State,” said Gary Ozzello, the senior associate director of athletics.
While the group isn’t fully organized yet, and still doesn’t have a website, some of the main details are in place. Members would pay a $25 fee per school year. That fee would get, along with giveaways like T-shirts, prime seating to all athletic events. At all CSU games, a Ram Ruckus section would be carved out in a prime area for members to sit in.
Ozzello also said he hopes that members of the group would get chances to win trips to NCAA Tournaments and bowl games when CSU is involved.
One key aspect for both Brogdon and the athletic department is that the group will support all CSU sports, not just the big ones. Brogdon envisions a point system where members earn more points for going to a less supported teams game, like water polo or softball, and going to football or men’s basketball games wouldn’t earn as many points. Those points can then be used to buy gear or possibly be used at businesses in town that are connected with Ram Ruckus.
“Our student athletes, regardless of the sport, are important to us and we want to make them feel appreciated,” Ozzello said. “One of the biggest things that we all recognize in college athletics, when you have a student presence, it changes the entire environment and enhances the home court or home field advantage. That’s what we want to provide our coaches and our student athletes.”
Ozzello thinks that, unlike other groups that have been created, this one will stick because of the work of Brogdon and the backing of ASCSU.
Brogdon is graduating this week, and doesn’t know where he will work, but insists that he is building the infrastructure that will ensure Ram Ruckus happens and achieves his goal.
“Really, right now, the way we’re setting this up logistically, it seems to me that we can only be successful,” Brogdon said.
Former Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at email@example.com.