Part of the great tradition we have here at Elder definitely entails the athletic side of campus life. Whether you’re on the team or supporting the team, the games are important to everyone involved.
Being successful is important to every student at Elder, and we will go above and beyond to grind out victories, both on and off the court, field or whatever the venue.
Whatever it takes to win will be done by the Panthers, and the environment that is created is up to the students who attend. Either way, the Panthers come ready to go in both facets.
Big games call for big student sections, and there is no better way of getting the boys fired up than with a theme. Elder cheering sections have their fair share of themes that are put to use, but some definitely trump others.
In my opinion, there is no way to rank a whiteout, blackout, or purple-out over one another. They all serve the same purpose and are used interchangeably. Therefore, they are all tied for fourth.
Anyway, senior Tim Finley went the blackout route, declaring blackout as Elder’s best theme. I asked him what his favorite was, and he said, “That’s a tough one, but I would probably have to go with blackout with kids painting their bodies black spelling Elder.” Valid point, and I love the spelling of Elder, but not enough to crack my top three.
Without further ado, here are my top three themes of the Elder student section.
Classic theme. Very comfortable. Both football and basketball. There’s no reason not to love Hawaiian night.
You can go one of two routes for Hawaiian night: classic Hawaiian shirt and shorts, or go full out for the night. I have seen those wear the coconut bra and fake skirts and even a bathing suit here and there.
Former first semester Quill writer Joe Weber was one of these men to go all out in his freshman year. “I wanted to have fun and join in the theme,” said Weber. He also stated that he would “absolutely” do it again in the future. Watch out, Lancers.
Nevertheless, Hawaiian is easy. Go out and buy a Hawaiian shirt for cheap at pretty much any store in the city if you don’t have one. There’s no excuse to not be dressed Hawaiian-like for these games due to the flexibility of what is acceptable as Hawaiian.
Typically used for the LaSalle home basketball game, this calls for some rowdiness. Big time GCL basketball matchup must have a solid theme, and Hawaiian fills this void.
Hawaiian is solid all around. Everybody can participate in the theme without much effort,
Another classic cheering section theme, this one is used for both the gridiron and basketball court. A jersey is something that everyone has, so this theme is one where each and every student in the section can (and should) participate.
So many classic jerseys are showcased during this theme. I’ve seen jerseys that stem from the classic Elder basketball camp jersey all the way to the classic NBA jerseys bought online.
Typically, this theme is reserved for a hot one on the football field. Sun’s out guns out for the student section for the first half of the football season.
Come basketball season, jersey night is used for the Oak Hills game. Home or on the road, the jerseys are out against the Highlanders each and every year.
Elder basketball player Willard Cluxton talks about jersey night from the players’ perspective, saying, “My favorite is jersey theme because everyone’s got a different color on,” Willard also commented on how a plethora of jerseys are showcased during the game, showing the unique taste in jerseys from each student.
Jerseys, while they may not be the most comfortable sometimes, have a great look. Senior Mike Newsom commented on his favorite theme, “Jersey. So I can show off the arms I don’t have.”
Toooooga! Toooooga! Toooooga!
Toga night is by far the greatest theme idea that the Elder students have in the history of the student section. Nothing like a bunch of amped men crammed in the Pit while the Panther basketballers take on St. X.
Inspired from the classic film Animal House, the toga party has ensued at the Pit every year since 1983, the first ever toga night. Since then, toga night has been a staple of the Elder student sections.
All that needs to happen is for the tech guys at the Pit to play “Shout” by Otis Day and the Knights before or during the game. Everyone would obviously need to understand what is going on and the significance of the song, but if everyone does, it could be fun.
Nobody in the city of Cincinnati can wear the togas like Elder can, and this idea is pretty distinctive to Elder. No one else in the city attempts toga night quite like the Panthers.
Need I mention that wearing a toga is comfortable? As long as the toga stays tied and doesn’t sag below your knees, it’s a pretty comfy outfit. The outfit suits all, whether you’re a big man or small man, the toga looks pretty nice regardless, as long as you are wearing it the right way.
Toga night is a phenomenal idea. If only every student in the section would wear the toga how it is supposed to be worn: no shirt underneath, pair of shorts, white toga. If every student comes in the proper attire and ready to go, toga night will be even better than it already is.
Feel free to disagree with me on any of these. Just know that the Pit will always be rockin’ whenever these themes are on display.