As many of you know, I’m a very active member in True Blue. I’m the current treasurer of the organization and one of four people who have been elected in to a position by there peers. Because of this, I know a lot about how the organization works, and I want to share it with you.
Most UB fans know True Blue artificially, as just the students who show up to games and cheer. What the general public doesn’t get to know, is how much work goes in to running such a group. So I have decided to start a new post series, where I open the door to what True Blue is, and teach everyone about what a hard working organization it really is. Today’s topic: a Saturday game day.
I’m choosing to detail a Saturday basketball game today, because those have occurred the most this season. Most of these games start at 2 PM, but the madness starts the minute I wake up. I live with two of the other three eboard members (the elected ones) and am neighbors to the third. We spend A LOT of time together and about 75% is True Blue talk oriented.
When I wake up on a game day, I look at my phone and normally have a check list of what to start preparing. From our apartment we store most of our props like costumes and the flag. I go through the checklist at the apartment and make sure everything is accounted for. If we personally provide food for the event, I will have gone out the night before and picked it up, if it’s signs I make sure I have every one that someone has created to ensure nobody is missing their things, and most importantly, my apartment checks 100 times to make sure we have our cowbell. After that, at about 12:30 we get ready for the big time.
The eboard of True Blue has special passes in which we are permitted in to Alumni Arena before the doors open. As soon as we get in, we have to duck off to a hidden storage room in alumni and get the props we don’t store in the apartment. We normally stop and talk to our advisers in the marketing department about our expected crowd based off of the vibe we got earlier in the week (I’ll talk about all of that marketing business on another post).
After everything is set up, we brace for the arrival of our students. The big thing we stress about our organization is that EVERYONE is welcome. On early events during the season, we don’t sit down before the game but instead go and try and talk to every new face we see. It’s often awkward but giving students the sense that they belong as a part of our group matters.
We basically mingle and plan out who is doing what half time or on court game with the marketing department before the game starts. The hungry hungry hippos game that you may have seen me in during the women’s and men’s game this past week is one of those things that has more than meets the eye. Every participant came in a few days earlier to practice and work on making the game run smooth and provide maximum entertainment.
During the Game
Once line ups start, it’s show time for us. We do what we can to hope our mingling made people comfortable and we try and bring all the energy. The eboard stands in front of the section and tries to get the students loud while also having to monitor what some students yell. Because if the section does something wrong, they’re going to come to us and yell at us. We LOVE being aided by the other three spirit squads (band, cheer, and dazzlers) and we try and make it an experience.
It’s not always easy if the game is frustrating but we do what we can do stay upbeat. During the Bona game a message was relayed to the eboard saying “You have to make it as loud as possible on defense for the final 8 minutes” even though the team hit a lull. The games are arguably the best and hardest part as we often stress out about who will say what and lead what. Keeping hundreds of students upbeat is a challenge, but we have too awesome of a board to let the environment down.
After the Game
After the players leave the court and the band finishes, me and the three other eboard members go in to cleanup. We have to wrangle fat heads from students and make sure everything is accounted for (minus the Willie Connor fathead we never found). Sometimes we are rewarded with the left over food pregame (thanks Lloyds) and we quickly stop by our advisers and briefly discuss the game.
On the walk back to our apartments, we still talk about what went well for the club and what went bad. The talk doesn’t stop and we always brainstorm what to do next game, all while laying down on our couches tired from a long stressful day. Overall, I love game days, but the amount of worry I have during whether wanting to win or wanting all the students, it drains you. I love everything about this club however, and I can’t wait to share all the things we do, because we’ve barely scratched the surface. Until next time, go Bulls!