Skating Dutchmen Faithful Have Much to Learn

Hockey Notebook

Union College may be the new kid on the ECAC block, but don't tell that to its fans.

On Friday night, 2504 raucous Union fans packed a slightly antiquated Achilles Rink to support their only Division I athletic team.

When the opening Harvard line-up was introduced, the student section pulled out newspapers in mock boredom. The Union fans began cheering midway through an appalling Star-Spangled Banner And throughout the game, the crowd yelped and screamed to pump their team up.

Even though the Union fans seem well-versed in hockey etiquette, they still have a little to learn about the ECAC.

First off, where was the band? Seven students wearing Union sweatshirts hanging out in the balcony and waving assorted brass instruments is not a band.


Some words of advice to the Union band: do some recruiting (your membership should at least be in double-digits), learn some fight songs (the Hartford Whalers theme does not count) and work on some cheers (a good "sieve" chant would be nice).

A message to the Union fans: coordinate. You need cheers, chants, rallying calls. No self-respecting ECAC crowd would dare to just yell "you suck" at random intervals during the game.

It may take time, Union fans, but soon enough you'll be making fools out of yourselves just like all wacky hockey spectators.

Lessons from RPI

Take heart, Union fans, you don't have to go far to see a real ECAC show.

Just travel a couple miles down the New York Thruway to Troy and the home of the Engineers of Rensselaer.

While downtown Troy may be equally as repulsive as its counterpart in Schnectady, RPI's hockey show far outclasses that of its new ECAC neighbor and can provide a few lessons:

First lesson: The rink.

Forget about the 2500 capacity, high school bleacher embarrassment. Get something like RPI's Houston Field House, which seats over 5000 raucous fans.

Second lesson: Banners.

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