Basketball Super Fan Urges Students to Show for the Team (and for the Dough)


Jack Johnson, Staff Writer

I have lived with Buena Vista basketball players all four years here at BV; I eat all of my meals with various members of the team (or their girlfriends); and I have my longest Snapchat streak (789 days—that’s more than two years!) with a former member of the team. We get along as a well as a collective group of people from many different backgrounds possibly could. Together, we are all members of the same group, but within that group there exists a divide, which is visible every Wednesday and Saturday night from roughly November through February.

When the games begin, the distinction is clear. They are on the court, and I am in the stands. I watch the games from the student section, cleverly titled the “Beaver Den,” cheering on the home team and often yelling constructive criticisms at the other teams and the officiating staff.

If there exists anyone who is deserving of the title BVU basketball super fan, I think I fit the bill as well as anyone. I happily drove more than three hours through the wasteland we call Minnesota (Iowa corn tastes better) to watch the season opener a couple weeks ago against Bethany Lutheran. News flash: we won. There are few ways I would rather spend my Wednesday night than watching Beaver basketball. Getting to watch my friends play the game they love is a huge priority of mine, and I feel qualified saying that the majority of the BVU student body does not match my passion.

To encourage student participation this year, BV has created a promotion called “Show for the Dough” at all winter home sporting events. The premise of this promotion is to offer $50 at each sporting event to a randomly selected BVU student. The winner is announced on the scoreboard at some point in each basketball game. That winning student has a limited time to claim the prize. If they fail to do so, the prize goes unclaimed, and it will be added to a pot to be announced at the next home game. This process continues until some lucky student claims the prize, after which the whole process starts over.

Basically, BV has become so embarrassed by the lack of student participation at home sporting events that they have decided to flip the fan-to-team relationship. To gain admission at most sporting events, fans are required to purchase a ticket. They give the team their money to watch the team compete in the sporting event—a fairly simple and routine concept that I am sure we are all familiar with. The idea of the team bribing fans with money to come watch them is one that is much more unusual.

We, as BV students, get in free to all home sporting events. I crunched the numbers, and that is actually very affordable on the poor college student’s budget. Yet many students still don’t show up. I would love to have more people show up to the games. A louder, more raucous crowd would only help our teams. As I mentioned earlier, I sometimes yell constructive criticisms at the opposing teams and officiating staffs. With more people in the Beaver Den, it would make it easier to disappear into the crowd if something I said were to draw the irritated attention of someone with authority. So, with my well-being in mind, please do consider coming out to the games to cheer on your Beavers and maybe win a nice chunk of change.