Commonly people are asked to use just one word to describe some aspect of their life, and generally that one word does not do justice to what is being depicted. Despite this frequent failure I am going to attempt to do just that, in answering the question I asked myself, “Describe The Dog Pound, BU’s student section, in one word.”
Many frequent answers to represent this group of 18-22 year olds would be dedicated, passionate, loyal, loud, rowdy, or even crazy. And none of these are wrong, and at different points along my 4 year journey through this group I would have used multiple words off of that list, but none of them are my answer anymore.
When I think back on this year it is amazing what we did as a group. From 5th year seniors, who remember watching a goalie other than Kieran or Rollie stand in the BU net, to the wide-eyed freshman who went to her first game because her friends were going and she had nothing better to do, we always were working together in unison, even if we didn’t know the name of the person next to us. No one was concerned about how they would personally benefit or be recognized, it was just hundreds of kids trying to make sure everyone around them enjoyed feverishly supporting BU, and always offering suggestions to improve that experience.
There is no shortage of examples of how we worked together. From the two unique ways we got into the same section at both BC away games (which I will not post online so that we can do it again next year), to handing over money to a stranger who promised to give you NU tickets a few weeks later, to following someone you had never met before to a different state using public transportation. These are not the actions of your average student section. Your average student section meets up at a home game and chants together for two hours, and then disassemble and do not interact until they see each other at the next home game. That is not us.
We worked together, we trusted each other, we spent money we didn’t have and time we should have been studying to support our team and encourage others to do the same. We discussed supporting our team so much that whenever you signed into Facebook between October and March you were virtually assured to have a dozen notifications from people you weren’t even FB friends with.
We travelled all across New England, and sometimes farther than that, spending weekend after weekend in a car, bus, train, hotel room, and away rink with people that we had no idea even existed when BU first took the ice in October. I’ve seen people meet in The Dog Pound become close friends, roommates, even boyfriend and girlfriend. At some point in this journey unified by one cause we all become connected, and it’s a bond that BU students who don’t follow our team don’t understand, and forget about successfully explaining it to your family. It is inexplicable, but it is also undeniable.
What is even more shocking about how well we get along is that a group of sports fans of this size, from this diverse of a background have every reason not to. Nowhere else is there a group with this many passionate fans of the Yankees and Red Sox, Rangers and Devils, Penguins and Flyers, Celtics and Lakers, who can all put their differences aside and only focus on the one team they have in common, the Terriers. It doesn’t matter what we don’t agree on, our passion towards the one thing we do agree on outweighs the rest. Your college team is unlike any other team you support; you’re not a fan of athletes that may as well live on a different planet from you. Instead, you are a supporter of your classmates, they relish that support and together you and them define your school and give yourself an identity. You are not someone along for the ride; you are helping to navigate us along that journey.