November 21, 2014

I’m joining the Maroon Platoon

Posted 3/17/10

There are a few things I look for in a student section during a basketball game. And as far as I’m concerned, Arenac Eastern’s Maroon Platoon has been one of the best in the land.

Here’s what makes a great student section:

1. Rowdiness. If you are sitting in a high school student section and the other team takes to the free-throw line, there’s a right way and a wrong way to behave. If you and your fellow students decide to hold hands and say a silent prayer for the player to miss, you’re going about it in the wrong way. If you decide to shout or sing in unison, and stomp your feet while clapping wildly, that’s the right way. The AE section put a twist on free-throw distraction by making a satire of Twisted Sister’s song “We’re not Gonna Take it,” singing to the opponent on the line “You’re Not Gonna Make it, NO! You ain’t gonna make it!”

That’s what I’m talking about. I don’t only want to give the student section credit, but the casual fans as well, as they were quite rowdy at times, especially when the referees were involved. I know MHSAA officials tell us all to respect referees, and we should, but when they make a mistake (or it looks like they do), we have to help them out, right? And with all the noise in a gym, if we don’t stand up and shout, how will they hear us? The Maroon Platoon knows what I’m talking about.

2. Creativity. Everyone’s caught on to the “You can’t do that!” chant, which makes it a lot less humorous. That’s why I have to appreciate the Maroon Platoon’s creativity. Not only have they satirized an 80’s rock sensation, they have also adapted a line from the “Lord of The Rings” trilogy. When the opposing squad passes the ball and it gets stolen or knocked away, the platoon, in a unified voice, screams the classic Gandalf line “You shall not pass!” and then stomps their feet on the bleachers.

Awesome. Who says nerdiness can’t be obnoxious?

3. Over-the-top attire. Painted faces, matching shirts, and cowboy hats — they were all on display at Arenac Eastern’s girls basketball games in the playoffs, but I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t specifically talk about Graham Morgan’s Maroon Platoon wardrobe. He would show up to games in a maroon robe, maroon headband, and painted face. Plus, he was wielding a foam finger and plastic sword of doom. After the girls won the district championship, I took a picture of the crowd storming the court. Graham charged forward with his sword in the air, looking more like William Wallace then a high school senior from Twining. I was impressed.

4. Loyalty. In the regional game, when it was clear there wasn’t enough time left for the Lady Eagles to make a comeback, the Platoon didn’t pipe down and clear out. Instead, they serenaded their ladies one more time with the AE school song, drowning out Deckerville’s celebration. I was also very intrigued about how the Maroon Platoon didn’t let one of its own abandon the platoon without a little heckling. (You know who you are, lover boy!) He was told across court that “Once a platooner, always a platooner!” The Maroon Platoon also sang to him several times, teasing him with a rendition of Biz Markie’s “You Say He’s Just a Friend.”

Hilarious. And it was all in good fun, so don’t get upset with me over it.

Overall, the Maroon Platoon may have been small, but they were loud and they were proud. And when it comes to student sections, that’s what really matters.

Now how do I get a T-shirt?

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