A senior’s guide to Villanova basketball cheers

Mark Mullany

When I first started attending Villanova basketball games my freshman year—way back in the day— I had no idea how to do the clapping and hollering in synchronization with the rest of the Nova Nation. I was always clapping late or saying “woosh go” following a 3-pointer. 

After bumbling through most of the home games of my first year, I eventually picked up how to participate at a ’Nova game as a citizen of the Nova Nation. At the time, though, I wish I had someone to teach me the ways of Villanova basketball. 

Whether you are a freshman trying to make sense of these cheers, or an upperclassman who needs a refresher, here’s everything you need to know about cheering in the Student Section.

One minute before game time

In general, the band—the students with the trombones, trumpets, drums and other loud instruments—is integral to perfecting the timing of school spirit. At one minute before the start of the game, and one minute before the beginning of the second half, the band will start playing hype music to get the student section focused. 

All the students—such as yourself—will alternate from clapping in unison with the beat to chanting “Go. Go. Go.” Then, the challenge picks up when the band breaks away from its steady clapping and goes to playing Da. De-da-de-da. Da. De-da-de-da. De-da. De-da.

You will clap once per de-da. It will go like Da. Clap, clap. Da. Clap, clap. De-da. De-da. Resist the temptation to clap on the single Da. Many a time my freshman year, my friends and I always clapped on that Da, and everyone hit their two-clap on de-da. This probably seems difficult to conceptualize right now, but once you hear the band play the one-minute warm-up, the de-da’s will make a lot more sense.

Finally, as the cymbals and other percussions go crazy, the fans match the noise in anticipation for the ’Cats to battle on the court until the buzzers sounds, or a few seconds after because everyone is that excited.

A Foul Occurs

When an opponent fouls a ’Nova player, the crowd does not let it go unnoticed. The band will play a drumroll, while simultaneously the students will move their arms Moroccan style. Then when the band hits the cymbals, the students point their right arms forward. Four drumbeats will follow the cymbal. On each beat, the students clap. After the last clap, the students point their right arms again with the final smack of the cymbals.

Someone Fouls out

Okay, this is one is very easy and equally fun. In Division I basketball, when a player commits five fouls, he is disqualified from the game, also known as “fouling out.” When an opponent fouls out, the band will begin to play a slow drumroll. 

As the drumroll continues, the students point their index fingers up and whirl their pointers around until the player sits down. Once the fouled-out player sits on the bench, the students yell, “See ya!”

Watch the Cheerleaders

Who better to study the art of cheering from than the leaders of cheering? Throughout the game, they will coordinate the student section in cheering. Sometimes, they will the divide the student section into two halves. One half will yell “NOVA.” Then the other half will exclaim “NATION!” With the cheerleaders as conductors of the student section, the Nationers will alternate back and forth. “NOVA!” “NATION!” “NOVA!” “NATION!”

 Clearly, the cheerleader function has not changed from high school to college. The goal is still the same: get the audience hyped for their favorite basketball team—the Villanova Wildcats.

People can bring signs now?

Last year, Villanova Athletics experimented with the idea of allowing students to bring signs. After initial success at a couple of games, students can now take signs to the games. 

For those of you who are creative, this is a great opportunity to show off your abilities, because those with the most creative signs will be rewarded with prizes.

On top of that, if you arrive an hour before tipoff, you can go to Court 1 to make signs. The Pavilion will have all the supplies you could need—poster, markers, and all the works. 

wPersonally, I am not that into signs, but if they already have the supplies handy, I might be tempted to throw together a sign that said something like, “Jay Wright > Phil Martelli.” 

In case you didn’t know….

Phil Martelli is the Head Coach of Saint Joe’s, who will be facing the Wildcats this Saturday (see page 18).

Lyrics to the Wildcat Fight song

Lastly, as a Wildcat and member of the ’Nova Nation, you have to know the Villanova fight song that is played after every home game. Here are the sacred lyrics:

V for Villanva. V for Victory. B for blue and W for white. 

For the Blue and the White we will fight! 

Fight! Fight! Fight! 

Fight for Villanova. Fight for Victory.

1. For we’re out to win the fray; 

Villanova leads the way, 

With a capital “V” for Victory.

2. For we’re out to beat the foe 

Show the en-e-my we know 

how to win with a “V” for Victory.

Vill-a-no-va, V-I-L-L-A-N-O-V-A

“V” for Vic-tor-y, V-I-C-T-O-R-Y

It’s a tooth for a tooth and en eye for an eye

And a “V” for a V-I-C-T-O-R-Y

Just remember, if you take nothing else from this article, it is always cool to throw your V’s (your index and and middle fingers in a V formation) up and work your wrist back and forth. If you do that, everyone will identify you as Nationer.