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Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Cardinal Rule of Heckling

Piggy-backing off of the High Roller's brilliant post yesterday, I wanted to take a moment to stress one of the cardinal rules of taunting the losers on the other team (this could become a running series throughout the season):

Do your research. Taunting someone hits a lot harder when they hear a specific and carefully-researched insult. "You suck" could apply to any player on the court; "hey how did that 16-year-old get into your hotel room in Pittsburgh" hits its target with personalized precision. Fans of the Univerity of Maryland are legendary for doing this - they routinely make Duke's J.J. Redick cry like a little schoolgirl.

Bottom line: if you know that Vermont's coach has a certain proclivity for the drinky-drink, or that Hartford's man-beast of a center was dismissed from Hofstra for as-yes-unknown reasons, or that one of Vermont's guards is Canadian -- these are weaknesses that should be exploited.


At 5:13 PM, Blogger Big Pick said...

Another thing to remember when heckling is that you may not find a lot of dirt on the specific player you hate but that's no need to distress. You can find a plethora of information on their family members. Signs that read, "I injected your slut mother with breast cancer!" or, "Your Uncle Lost His Virginity On Riker's Island" not only get in the player's head but are just plain fun. There's nothing better than starting and maintaining a time-honored tradition of bad-spirited fan conduct.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Ephraim the Retarded Rabbit said...

Ah heckling- my favorite pre/post/during game activity. I have heard and made many a comment during my lifetime, one of my all- time favorite comments comes from the creator of this site, one Mr. Tall-Boy:

"you're gonna go late in the second round..."

This was directed at St. Joe's former standout Jameer Nelson, who at the time was considered the best player in the country. My reason for enjoying this comment so much is simple: it was short, to the point, mean, and allowed for a chain reaction of comments to stem from it. A loud comment that can get several others involved is always appreciated.

I have various strategies/tactics in my approach to heckling, here are a few:

-attack while at the free throw line. This is very effective because said target is in deep concentration and usually the crowd is generally quieter- here you can truly make the shooter feel your wrath. (Note: do not shout positive comments at your own players while shooting, it can be distracting. (Sorry Peruvian Powerhouse.)

-don't only attack players, coaches, and refs, maybe try your hand at letting an annoying mascot or ugly cheerleader have it. Players, coaches, and refs alike are used to heckling, but an unsuspecting mascot might not see it coming and then you can really hit home.

-be weird. Yes this may sound off base but I want to emphasize it because this is a key component to an effective heckle. More times than not these players are used to hearing the random "you're the worst!" or "rot in hell!" or even "you're pure trash!" but if you come out of nowhere with "is that even a real tattoo?", "are you a human bird?", "you are a walking knee cap!" or even "your hair is a rat's nest!" then you can really get them thinking: "maybe I am a bird man with nothing but knee caps, fake tattoos, and a goddam mess for a haircut." These are all very acceptable and especially strange and that is why I appreciate them so much.

In order for a crowd to be effective they need to heckle, in order for a heckle to be effective it needs to be creative, passionate, and most of all MEAN!


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