Crowd involvement can make or break an environment. In European football, fans loudly sing songs in unison to support their favorite club and players. At combat sporting events, a rowdy crowd can seem to propel fighters to greater heights. My newest crowd love has been seeing darts crowds absolutely lose their mind in huge moments.
However, as a die hard fan of collegiate athletics – the chants from student sections around the country have always been something I have enjoyed thoroughly. Let’s take a look at eight of the best student section chants in sports.
“You Let The Whole Team Down” – Duke Basketball
Crowd chants can get a little brutal at times. One of the meanest examples I’ve ever heard is the chant below from the legendary Cameron Crazies of Duke. Chanting “you let the whole team down” at an opposing player might just classify as a cruel and unusual punishment.
“Ball Five” – Texas A&M Baseball
Texas A&M has plenty of fantastic chants which we call “yells” at football games and honestly, this whole list could just be A&M chants. In my opinion though, the absolute best chant actually happens on the diamond. When an opposing pitcher throws four straight balls, the Aggie faithful begin chanting “ball five” hoping to influence a fifth straight pitch off the mark. They continue counting up until the opposing pitcher finally finds the strike zone. In the example below, the Aggies get all the way up to a 12-count.
“Hotty Toddy” – Ole Miss
Unlike the two entries above, the Hotty Toddy chant isn’t specific to any one sport. If you find your way to any Ole Miss sporting event in Oxford from football to baseball to basketball – you will likely hear a “Hotty Toddy” chant break out. No one knows the meaning or even the origins but it’s a special part of the culture at Ole Miss and fun to join in on even if you aren’t sure what’s happening.
“Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU” – Kansas Basketball
While the Rock Chalk chant can be heard at more than just the Phog, there is no doubt that it is at its purest form when the Jayhawks are on the hardwood. Just listen to the chant below. It’s almost haunting to hear the Kansas faithful serenading inside Allen Fieldhouse. It’s intimidating and undoubtedly one of the best student section chants in the country.
“We Are” – Penn State
There’s beauty in simplicity and Penn State’s simple chant of “We are Penn State” definitely qualifies as a beautiful piece of sports culture. You can say “we are” to just about anyone wearing Penn State gear and they will immediately respond with “Penn State”. It’s also impressive to hear the student section use the chant along with their “Zombie Nation” entrance.
“O-H-I-O” – Ohio State Football
Similar to Penn State’s call and response, Ohio State’s faithful chant “O-H” and “I-O” in alternating turns. The chant has grown to the point that it is associated with the entire state of Ohio and not just Ohio State University. Still, the best place to hear it from will always be the Ohio State student section.
“Calling the Hogs” – Arkansas
Most of my fellow Aggies would say that the Arkansas tradition of calling the Hogs is obnoxious and not in any way a good chant. I disagree. It pains me to give Arkansas any credit but there is something intoxicating about the act. I will admit that I find myself calling the Hogs along with Arkansas fans as long as they aren’t playing Texas A&M.
“Sieve Chant” – Cornell Hockey
There’s nothing like a good a capella performance from a student section and I think one of the best I’ve ever seen is the “Sieve Chant” below from Cornell’s faithful at their hockey games. The chant below is incredible and has singlehandedly convinced me that I have to make it Ithaca, NY and catch a game at Cornell’s Lynah Rink.
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