Purdue vs. The Hysteria

A former captain of the Southport basketball team on the south side of Indianapolis, sophomore Tony Adragna is studying Sports Broadcasting and Indiana University. A week ago, he and Zach Litzelswope launched a campaign to elevate fandom into the digital age.

Hysterical Hoosiers, a social media group aimed at customizing and coordinating student chants at Indiana University sporting events, enters its second week with a huge rivalry for the Hoosiers. Tonight, the #8-ranked Purdue Boilermakers come to Assembly Hall to face a maturing team of athletes and one of the biggest, loudest, and most fervent student sections in the country.

Chants For Purdue

  1. IU FREE THROWS—While IU players are shooting free throws, hold our arms in an “I” and then down into a “U” after the point is scored.
  2. TEAM HUDDLES—When the team is in a huddle, hold one arm out (like we to are in the huddle) and chant “1, 2, 3, HOOSIERS!” when they break.
  3. BOILER UP SPOOF—Replace Purdue’s meaningless chant with “BANNER UP” (clap clap)
  4. KELSEY BARLOW—If the sophomore guard is shooting free throws, mimic his choke sign and yell “Choke!”
  5. DUNKS—Chant “That’s a “Pritch” Slap!” for Tom Pritchard dunks, and “You got Shee-bagged” if Will Sheehey dunks.

Source: “preliminary purdue chants” (2/22/2011)

The crowdsourcing of chants began when Adragna (@tonyadragna) was featured on a IU podcast to talk about his internet radio show. In the conversation with Scott at CrimsonCast, the idea of organizing chants was hatched. Facebook and Twitter pages soon followed, generating support from almost 800 online Hoosier fans in the first week. “The reason we wanted to organize chants was because some of IU’s chants lately have been weak,” Adragna recalls.

The debut didn’t go as planned. Not only did Northwestern beat the Hoosiers, but the groundswell of support for the chants didn’t materialize. Still, their blog post describing the chants for the Wildcat games managed 3,000 views.

“We learned that you have to take the fan’s input,” says Adranga. The channels to do so are currently limited to online communication, but in future seasons Hysterical Hoosiers may spread their message and coordinate activities through signs and t-shirts. The group recently teamed up with the IU Athletic Department’s official student section, The Crimson Guard, and can now expect support from University Twitter accounts to get the word out about chants.

One concern is whether this form of organization will correct or exasperate the trend toward vulgar fan behavior. There are some notorious cases of inappropriate activity by student sections, so momentum in a positive direction is welcome. “We monitor all of the chants,” reassures Adranga. “We will make sure the chants we put up are appropriate.”

New chants aren’t the only buzz around fan activity for this big game. The Crimson Guard has declared today to be a “Stripe Out” game, with fans in designated sections of Assembly Hall wearing either red or white. Thanks to the new general admission seating for part of the student section, some Hoosier fans started camping out for front-row seats more than a day before tip-off. The #assemblyhallcampout tweets have been flowing, and even AD Fred Glass stopped by to check in with the campers.


Source: Josh Bowles, IU SportsCom

Over a decade ago, my hatred of Purdue solidified after watching a Boilermaker guard—Todd Foster, I believe, now an assistant on the staff—celebrate an upset win in Assembly Hall by jumping up and down on the Indiana map at center court, where Bloomington would be. I’ve been rooting for Purdue shutouts ever since. Bad seasons are salvaged by beating Purdue.

Bring your voices, students. I’ll have to listen for “BANNER UP!” while watching the game on TV.

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