While getting accepted to Boston University was a dream come true, I initially had some reservations about the lack of football culture, something that the colleges in my home state take pride in.
Coming from South Florida, the vast majority of my former classmates went on to become Gators, Seminoles, or Knights, attending every football game and basking in school spirit. I love football, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about missing out.
However, two weeks ago, I discovered where BU school spirit thrives: hockey.
I was only slightly familiar with hockey before coming to BU. My dad took my brother and me to Florida Panthers’ games when I was little, but I never felt a strong tie to the Panthers, or any team for that matter.
Going to my first BU game and cheering for my school’s team unlocked a whole new level of fan in me.
The student section of Agganis Arena is a sea of red and white. Where BU spirit may seem subdued while walking down Commonwealth Avenue, everyone dons our colors for the games.
I learned after the first game to sit in the middle rows of our section; that’s where everyone is on their feet all the time. My friends and I have now started getting there early to stand right up against the rink shields.
Some students come in with posters to put up on the walls for the players to see. My favorites are ones that mock the opposing team (It’s all in good fun, right?) and, of course, one that depicts our very own goalkeeper, Mathieu “Chewy” Caron, as Chewbacca from Star Wars.
As the games commenced, I got the hang of some of our classic BU chants. “Go BU!” is an easy one, and I could hit the rink shields on the beat as we shouted.
I also love the penalty chants. When a player from the opposing team gets a penalty, we shout “Rude!” several times to the beat. When one of our players is penalized, we say “(Player) has never done anything wrong. In! His! Life!” plus a countdown to “Freedom!” when their time in the box is up.
I get such a rush from seeing the players so close up. When they crash up against the shields, everyone pounds the glass, and it’s exhilarating.
But nothing is better than when we score. My eyes are glued to the rink as the collective “Oh! Oh!” gets louder and louder. When the puck launches into the goal like a bullet, the arena erupts into cheers.
It’s truly an out-of-body experience. I scream louder than I’ve ever screamed, I jump up and down, and I pound and punch the rink shields like a mad woman. It isn’t until I calm down that I wonder if my forearms will bruise.
Everyone sings along to the pep band’s renditions of classic songs like “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations and “Toxic” by Britney Spears. We shout “Tequila!” and “Fireball!” right on cue when they play those songs.
Whenever we win, everyone joins in singing “Hey! Baby!” by Bruce Channel. The only word to describe the feeling is “euphoric.”
Even when we lose, I still feel connected to the BU community. We win together, we lose together, and we’ll still be there at the next game to cheer together some more.
Terrier hockey is my new favorite means of showing school spirit. You can catch me at every home game.