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Date Posted: 02/27/03 1:57pm
Author: zzzza
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Militia gets jobbed?

Colin, I think Harry P. was right when he said that the admin would put an end to the Mustang Militia. Looks like they've figured out how--just steal your idea. They didn't even mention you guys in the article today. What a gip.

From fans to Maniacs

By Sean Martin
mustang daily staff writer

Thousands of green-and-gold clad fans pound their feet and clap in unison. Chants of “De-Fense” form an impenetrable wave of noise, vibrating the atmosphere of Mott Gym. A writhing ocean of foam sticks and homemade signs cause the opposing team to lose their poise.

There is a movement brewing on campus to bring this scenario to more and more Cal Poly home games. It is called Mott Mania.

“We wanted to kick off an idea for a spirit (association) where the whole student body is encompassed,” associate athletic director of marketing Chris Baker said. “Once students step on campus they will be a member. It gives them a pack mentality (at games).”

The athletic department is working in conjunction with Cal Poly’s existing spirit organization, Running Thunder, to make Mott Mania a reality.

“Running Thunder has gotten stuck with the stigma of being a club that you have to be a member and go to meetings to participate,” Thunder president Travis Ervin said. “Our goal now is to start an organization for all students.”

Mott Mania made its debut Feb. 20 at the men’s basketball contest against UC Santa Barbara. The athletic department unleashed the Mania at that game because of the combination of television and the rivalry against the Gauchos, Baker said.

Baker called the game a “success,” while Ervin tried to quantify how important the crowd was.

“It was the best thing I’ve ever seen at any game at Cal Poly,” Ervin said. “The crowd was excited the whole time. People estimated the crowd made a difference of 12 points for (Cal Poly). Everyone in athletics was extremely grateful for the difference (the crowd) made. It’s what we want to see at every game.”

Mott Mania continues with tonight’s men’s basketball game against UC Irvine at 7 p.m. Another 300 T-shirts will be given out to students before that contest.

Baker hopes the program will continue to grow and extend to every athletic contest held on the campus. He said it is not something that will happen overnight, but Mott Mania will continue to build.

He said shirt giveaways and pep rallies for the big games will continue to be a part of the program. Baker also said a possible points program is in the works, which would award repeat attendees of Cal Poly games.

There is currently a contest to give a name to the new student cheering section in Mott Gym, Baker said. The section was established at the game and open to those fans wearing the Mott Mania T-shirts given out that day. Ervin said he wants the winning name to be used to describe any Cal Poly student who cheers at any game.

The author of the name that is chosen will win a 32-inch television from the San Luis Obispo Best Buy, Baker said. Students can enter on Running Thunder’s Web Site, www.calpoly.edu/~rtclub.

Men’s basketball assistant coach Bob Lowe talked about what a good crowd can do for a team.

“Players feed off it,” said Lowe, a Mustang assistant for two years. “As a coach, you don’t want to have to depend on it but it does help, especially defensively, which helps fuel runs. It can be intimidating and disruptive to visiting teams and get the kids to play harder. We would love to see that every game.”

The increased enthusiasm may help lead Cal Poly athletic teams to wins, but it also should make games more fun for students, political science senior Shane Andersen said.

“If every game was like Thursday’s game, I’d be there all the time running around with green volleyballs on my head cheering my head off,” he said.

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