A Letter from the Red and Blue Crew

· February 17, 2012, 2:58 am   ·  Updated February 20, 2012, 11:04 pm

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The Red and Blue Crew is pleased with the strong resurgence of student support at Penn men’s basketball games. We want to first thank the fans for helping us rock the Palestra.

We have been working hard with the Penn Athletics marketing staff to provide student input in promotions and made efforts with Greek organizations, class boards, Penn Traditions, The Daily Pennsylvanian and countless other organizations to promote an energized Palestra.

Of course, it goes without saying that coach Jerome Allen and his squad’s increasingly elevated level of play on the court has been a major factor in the attendance boom. We know we will all continue to create a vibrant atmosphere on the Walk and in the Cathedral.

It is a shame that these great strides were trivialized by Eli Cohen in a column yesterday, where he unfairly criticized Penn students and the Red and Blue Crew with many unfounded claims. Cohen’s main argument was about unoriginality and vulgarity coming out of the student section.

In terms of unoriginality, perhaps Cohen has not recently attended games or read his paper’s commentary.

Calder Silcox’s Nov. 25 post on The Buzz that states “the Red and Blue Crew has had something of a creative renaissance this year” in reference to our new “Olé Rosen,” “Oh, uh, Oh Ber-na-di-ni” and “Miii-zzoo” chants.

We have sought to rediscover school spirit by implementing these new chants and printing out stat sheets with player names, numbers, fun facts and our newer cheers. Not one thing printed has been negative or vulgar.

In terms of vulgarity, let us be clear that we promote an energized and enthusiastic student section that demonstrates the highest ideals of good sportsmanship.

We cannot police every individual of a 2,000-plus person student section. We cannot be certain individual students won’t yell profanities. However, we can and do promote positive school spirit.

For Cohen to base a majority of his claims off one girl yelling “you suck” for an entire game is an unfair oversimplification. The ability to make jokes about opponents, done in a tasteful and humorous fashion, is part of sports and of our own history.

We don’t approve of “F*** Harvard” chants, but if you want to make a joke about Tommy Amaker’s many alleged instances of dirty recruiting, go right ahead. Just because we are in the Ivy League doesn’t mean we cannot have fun or do anything remotely off-color.

Instead of focusing on the negatives, we encourage Cohen and every other student to be a part of the fan section and offer specific feedback on how we can improve the experience. We welcome every student to continue to make the games a tremendous place to be.

You can find us on Junior Balcony tonight at 5 p.m. and standing in Section 119 and 120 during the games. We’ll be the ones focusing on helping the Quakers win, instead of worrying what the opposing team thinks, because we will never let school spirit die.

The Red and Blue Crew can be contacted at redandbluecrew@gmail.com. The current president is College senior Jayson Weingarten. You can find a longer response to Cohen’s article and a point-by-point rebuttal on the RBC website, www.PennAthletics.com/RBC.

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