It is a Saturday afternoon, the sun is beating down, and the Mercer Bears are fighting on the field, and all of a sudden you hear chanting. “I believe that we will win!” You look at the front row of the student section and you see a sea of orange. There are people painted up, supporting our team. This, my friends, is the look and sound of the Mercer Maniacs.
The Mercer Maniacs is a newer organization on campus, focused primarily on enhancing school spirit. This is the first year of offical Maniacs, but there have always been groups of spirited students on campus. Around five years ago, a group of fanatics started an unofficial group known as Hoffman’s Hooligans. They were named after Coach Hoffman and were huge supporters of the Mercer basketball teams. The Hooligans evolved into the Mercer Maniacs, after becoming an official Campus Life Organization. The Maniacs would like to become Lamb’s Lunatics, keeping with the tradition of being named after the head coach. Until then, the Mercer Maniacs are present and accounted for!
Andrew Eck, one of the more recognizable Maniacs, gave me a great deal of insight into the spirit of the Mercer Maniacs. “The hype for the Maniacs is new, but the group is not.” This is, however, the first year of major freshman involvement. Freshman don’t really know what it’s like to attend a football-free Mercer University, and they will never have to. Their first year is in conjunction with football’s first year. “The freshmen came on a very good year, spirit-wise. Sports are becoming a part of Mercer culture. We now have a game culture: Bear Walk, tailgating, a marching band. It’s really exciting. We are watching Mercer itself changing.” As the first year of Bears Football, all of the sports have a renewed support from the student body. In fact, the Maniacs would like to support the other sports even more. They would really like students with interest in all of the sports. Right now, the Maniacs are focused primarily on football and basketball, but they plan to expand. All of the sports deserves the spirit that the Mercer Maniacs bring to the table! In fact, the Maniacs attended a women’s soccer game, and plan to go to a men’s game as well. The other sports should be on the lookout.
The Maniacs are an open group and, as a fairly new group, they welcome new members. To become a Mercer Maniac, you must attend three football games and be signed off by a Maniac executive. It’s that easy!
To keep up with the Mercer Maniacs, visit their Facebook page: Mercer Maniacs, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram @MercerManiacs. For more information, you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in becoming a Mercer Maniac, or are just a supporter of the Bears, the Maniacs would like to see us all at the game against Valparaiso on October 12th in the stadium at noon, with the Bear Walk starting at 9:30.
*A very special thanks to Andrew Eck for his time and information and to his older brother Kevin for the picture.