Kilts are for Mel Gibson, not for basketball fans

Brian Niessing

The members of the senior class have been through a lot since we began our careers at Villanova in the fall of 2002. During this time, I have realized there is a lot to being a Villanova basketball fan.

For us seniors, this was having faith that our class of recruits would live up to the potential that they all arrived with. This has included dealing with what I’ve dubbed the “Curse of Hoops Mania” (I like sports teams from Buffalo: I believe in curses). Fraser goes down one year with an injury on the day of Hoops Mania, and we all know which player’s injury was announced on the afternoon of this year’s Hoops Mania.

Being a Villanova basketball fan meant keeping hope after being dealt with a phone card scandal, a loss to Siena in the first round of the NIT during freshman year, and a loss to Chaminade, a D-III school, during our sophomore year. How many of us can honestly say we went to all the games our freshman and sophomore year?

I don’t remember a group of “superfans” in kilts back then. I don’t remember a ‘Nova Nation Committee, I don’t remember seeing any “rally scarves,” and I sure don’t remember having to wait in line for over two hours to see Villanova play Virginia Tech because we had to let the “best fans” into the Pavilion first.

What I do remember is sneaking through the boiler room to watch our team play St. Joes during sophomore year (and I hope I don’t have to do that again, as my cover is now blown). I do remember standing in the Carrier Dome in near shock, speechless after we lost to North Carolina. I was proud of our team; it was a hell of a season, and a terrible way to end it.

Now we have come to the 2005-06 season, a season that gives the senior class, as well as the entire university, something to brag about. The majority of us do not claim to be “The Leaders of the ‘Nova Nation.” We do not dress up in an attempt to receive attention and get on television.

Where were you guys when we were sophomores, 14-10, two weeks removed from a loss against St. Joes and playing before a half full house? Yeah, I guess we weren’t on television that much back then.

This isn’t a shot at everyone who dresses up; I’m merely referring to a select few. I know there are some of you who have been dedicated fans since freshman year. (On a side note, what does a kilt have to do with being Augustinian anyway? I’m not sure I understand this.)

I’m not saying that I am a better fan than anyone else; I would not make that statement. I know that there are many kids who bleed Villanova blue. Personally, I’m still struggling with the dichotomy of growing up as a diehard Syracuse fan and then falling in love with our team from the moment that I enrolled here. What I am saying is that there are fans who are just as deserving of the attention. We go to the games, we scream, we yell, and we support our team. For the real senior fans of Villanova basketball, this is the way that it’s been for four years, and the way it will be even with the cameras off, win or lose, for the rest of our lives.