n From my observation over the last nine years, students in Section 8 see it as their role to be an intimidation to the opposing team. I have to give them very high marks in this. They are a relentless fan section. They do not let up when the going gets rough, and it is clear that their first purpose is to support BU hockey. I admire that. Granted, I certainly do not choose to support the team the same way they do. I think the same enthusiasm can be effectively shown without a lot of the vulgarity and venom that they employ. Happily, it is not my responsibility nor my desire to police that. Section 8, in totality, is an asset to Walter Brown Arena and Terrier Hockey. I earnestly feel that way.
What I can no longer bear are the gratuitous attacks of a few fans on the members of the band. These musicians are every bit the devoted fans as those across the rink, and they work hard at those games. They had nothing to do with the decision last February to change the music used to celebrate the start of a Terrier power play.
In all candor, I believe that many members disagree with the decision to date. Nevertheless, the band is a great band and made up of an exceptional group of students with enviable character. There is not a soul in that group that deserves to be told that they “suck.” I hope very much that this is simply a perspective that those of you involved had not considered.
In any event this is my plea. Section 8 et al: We are on your side. We could care less what you chant after the penalty is called. We’re not trying to stop you. Anything we do is in support of the team and is not intended to try and compete with anyone.
As the director of the band, I choose not to have them join you in vulgar or derogatory cheers. That was and is my decision, not the band’s. It is me with whom you have a complaint, not the band. Therefore, I respectfully ask you to choose one or both of the following courses of action.
1) Send me an e-mail ([email protected]) and your views will be read. I would be happy to address your remarks as time allows.
2) If you insist on the cowardly chants from across the rink, then my name is “Joe.” If you don’t like what we do and want to tell me I “suck,” then use MY name, not that of the band. “Joe,” not “Band.” I can take it. I will continue to try and do my job as well as I can and support the team, despite your comments. At least you will be directing your complaints to the source and not attacking your fellow student fans who are in no way worthy of that sort of treatment.
It appears to me that there are only a dozen or so people at most involved in this sort of stuff, but it is very hard to convince the band that they have any support from the crowd at all. Unless they start to see otherwise, I fear it will start to take its toll. I can also assure you that the current course of action will never achieve its objective.
“The Song” is not coming back, and the band is not going away.
If you do happen to like the band, don’t be afraid to let them know that. I fear they are doubting this more and more all the time. I hear it a lot, but they can always hear it more. That stuff is never as loud as the negative stuff.
Joe Wright Band Director Boston University