Reviving the 12th Man

RUJohnny

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There's been plenty of conversations the last month about the much maligned fan experience at our home games, and I'm going to throw in my 2c and ask for anyone interested to either repost their own thoughts here, or jump in with feedback, that I intend to start writing to the department about. Some people will say this stuff isn't important and all we need for a better atmosphere is to win but I don't believe that. No matter how much we win, we're not going to have our own version of Jump Around at Wisconsin without some planning and frankly- care for this.

I've worked in high-end hospitality settings for 20 years, I'm pretty savvy at creating experiences that people return for. I've been attending Rutgers games since 2002, so I was here when you could take a nap in the bleachers (I think I actually did my freshman year) and I was there for Louisville, the best fan experience ever, and every step in between.

To me, the underlying issue is that the gameday staff feels they must "manage" or manipulate the crowd instead of letting fans interact organically. All the other complaints- constant piped in sound, lousy music, too loud, overlapping sound bites, not enough band- are symptoms of this thinking about what the fan experience should be. The best fan moments are grassroots, when one man or a group inspire others to join in on something. As an example, here's tOSU's "O-H-I-O" spreading around the stadium in spite of a commercial for Coke. Obviously if there's an ad running, these fans aren't being led by a jumbotron, they are taking over the joint by themselves. That's much more exciting and makes fans feel like they're contributing to the effort by making the stadium louder and more intimidating. Before Rutgers games became more commercialized, you'd hear spontaneous chants and cheers constantly. When was the last time you heard the simple "Let's Go Rutgers!" cheer with claps to follow? That chant used to spread around so loud, during defensive gameplay, that the sound would echo in the place. Of course the R-U cheer has been bastardized for a decade now, that's probably toast unless they move the student section back to a sideline instead of an end zone. Although it was better when it was side to side, at least it still happened after most touchdowns until the last couple years. Now its instant commercial, and the volume is too loud to get anything started.

Apparently there is a guy with a megaphone to tells the student section how and when to cheer? That's lame. Students are the most raucous people in the house, they don't need guidance. If you train them to cheer when told to by the megaphone guy, they'll be less inclined to do anything spontaneous which is more exciting.

We need to forget about 7 Nation Army. That song belongs to Penn State. Nobody does it better IMO and they did it first, there's no reason we should be doing anything half-assed as our rival.

One scripted cheer that was cool and patently Rutgers was "first down touchdown go RU!" after a first down. Since Joe Nolan took over, he brought "and that is a Rutgerrrrrrrs First Down!" which he would do before the band would play. Now since we go hurry up more regularly, there frequently are times that there's only time for one or the other. Nolan isn't going to give his part up but he should. The band playing a piece of our fight song and giving our fans a chance to cheer along is much more exciting than copying what Nolan does, which he brought from the Jets games where he does the same 1st down and 3rd down calls at MetLife. Yesterday he would start his first down call and the band wasn't waiting for him to start or finish. So fans could either yell "First Down!" with Nolan or chant with the band cadence. Really, really dumb.

The worst though for me was all the crazy sound fx to leading up to our Metallica 3rd down song. Fans don't come to full throat on 3rd down until that song is over. It takes 4-5 seconds once the song is done before they're max volume and most disruptive to the opposing offense. So if the operator plays "MAKE SOME NOISE," and blows the train whistle, and plays that sound effect for Dolby or whatever (the one that used to get played at the beginning of a movie in the 80s or 90s) and then gets to the bell tolling and the guitar playing, then getting everyone yelling and making noise won't happen in time. Not only do you need a few seconds of silent stereo, but at several points yesterday the song clip didn't finish before it had to be cut off. This assumes we have to keep that song for 3rd down, we shouldn't because it doesn't inspire the crowd to yell, but to silently air guitar. Dumb.

I'm not as anti-train horn as others. I think since we have NJT and Amtrak running lines through town, and New Brunswick is the "Hub City" that something transit related as a stadium prop makes sense. On-brand, but grossly overused.

Music- as much as possible should be Jersey themed. Plenty of catalog to pull from, and it doesn't all have to be "hype." Phil Collins "In the Air" isn't the most obvious stadium song, but it works for the lyrics and the mood. Bruce, Bon Jovi, Gaslight Anthem...plenty of Jersey-raised hip hop artists too. Sopranos soundtrack.

Bottom line- very little of the gameday sound production is authentically Rutgers, the experience is just "generic, overproduced college football," and the fans aren't as engaged as they used to be, or as engaged as they should. The fans could be much more of a factor, and the place doesn't have to be 45k full for that to be the case. It's less fun than being a part of a game 10 years ago, and the actual result on the field has no bearing on the specific things I'm writing about.

Also, was surprised that the band didn't play "Loyal Sons" on the field at the end of the game as the crowd departed. Does that not happen anymore?
 

KT8813

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Nov 23, 2016
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There's been plenty of conversations the last month about the much maligned fan experience at our home games, and I'm going to throw in my 2c and ask for anyone interested to either repost their own thoughts here, or jump in with feedback, that I intend to start writing to the department about. Some people will say this stuff isn't important and all we need for a better atmosphere is to win but I don't believe that. No matter how much we win, we're not going to have our own version of Jump Around at Wisconsin without some planning and frankly- care for this.

I've worked in high-end hospitality settings for 20 years, I'm pretty savvy at creating experiences that people return for. I've been attending Rutgers games since 2002, so I was here when you could take a nap in the bleachers (I think I actually did my freshman year) and I was there for Louisville, the best fan experience ever, and every step in between.

To me, the underlying issue is that the gameday staff feels they must "manage" or manipulate the crowd instead of letting fans interact organically. All the other complaints- constant piped in sound, lousy music, too loud, overlapping sound bites, not enough band- are symptoms of this thinking about what the fan experience should be. The best fan moments are grassroots, when one man or a group inspire others to join in on something. As an example, here's tOSU's "O-H-I-O" spreading around the stadium in spite of a commercial for Coke. Obviously if there's an ad running, these fans aren't being led by a jumbotron, they are taking over the joint by themselves. That's much more exciting and makes fans feel like they're contributing to the effort by making the stadium louder and more intimidating. Before Rutgers games became more commercialized, you'd hear spontaneous chants and cheers constantly. When was the last time you heard the simple "Let's Go Rutgers!" cheer with claps to follow? That chant used to spread around so loud, during defensive gameplay, that the sound would echo in the place. Of course the R-U cheer has been bastardized for a decade now, that's probably toast unless they move the student section back to a sideline instead of an end zone. Although it was better when it was side to side, at least it still happened after most touchdowns until the last couple years. Now its instant commercial, and the volume is too loud to get anything started.

Apparently there is a guy with a megaphone to tells the student section how and when to cheer? That's lame. Students are the most raucous people in the house, they don't need guidance. If you train them to cheer when told to by the megaphone guy, they'll be less inclined to do anything spontaneous which is more exciting.

We need to forget about 7 Nation Army. That song belongs to Penn State. Nobody does it better IMO and they did it first, there's no reason we should be doing anything half-assed as our rival.

One scripted cheer that was cool and patently Rutgers was "first down touchdown go RU!" after a first down. Since Joe Nolan took over, he brought "and that is a Rutgerrrrrrrs First Down!" which he would do before the band would play. Now since we go hurry up more regularly, there frequently are times that there's only time for one or the other. Nolan isn't going to give his part up but he should. The band playing a piece of our fight song and giving our fans a chance to cheer along is much more exciting than copying what Nolan does, which he brought from the Jets games where he does the same 1st down and 3rd down calls at MetLife. Yesterday he would start his first down call and the band wasn't waiting for him to start or finish. So fans could either yell "First Down!" with Nolan or chant with the band cadence. Really, really dumb.

The worst though for me was all the crazy sound fx to leading up to our Metallica 3rd down song. Fans don't come to full throat on 3rd down until that song is over. It takes 4-5 seconds once the song is done before they're max volume and most disruptive to the opposing offense. So if the operator plays "MAKE SOME NOISE," and blows the train whistle, and plays that sound effect for Dolby or whatever (the one that used to get played at the beginning of a movie in the 80s or 90s) and then gets to the bell tolling and the guitar playing, then getting everyone yelling and making noise won't happen in time. Not only do you need a few seconds of silent stereo, but at several points yesterday the song clip didn't finish before it had to be cut off. This assumes we have to keep that song for 3rd down, we shouldn't because it doesn't inspire the crowd to yell, but to silently air guitar. Dumb.

I'm not as anti-train horn as others. I think since we have NJT and Amtrak running lines through town, and New Brunswick is the "Hub City" that something transit related as a stadium prop makes sense. On-brand, but grossly overused.

Music- as much as possible should be Jersey themed. Plenty of catalog to pull from, and it doesn't all have to be "hype." Phil Collins "In the Air" isn't the most obvious stadium song, but it works for the lyrics and the mood. Bruce, Bon Jovi, Gaslight Anthem...plenty of Jersey-raised hip hop artists too. Sopranos soundtrack.

Bottom line- very little of the gameday sound production is authentically Rutgers, the experience is just "generic, overproduced college football," and the fans aren't as engaged as they used to be, or as engaged as they should. The fans could be much more of a factor, and the place doesn't have to be 45k full for that to be the case. It's less fun than being a part of a game 10 years ago, and the actual result on the field has no bearing on the specific things I'm writing about.

Also, was surprised that the band didn't play "Loyal Sons" on the field at the end of the game as the crowd departed. Does that not happen anymore?
Extremly well thought out. Music often too loud and continuous and belongs in a club not a football game. Jersey themed music a great idea, especially Soprano themed pieces. Use the band more that is college football.
 

RUJohnny

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Extremly well thought out. Music often too loud and continuous and belongs in a club not a football game. Jersey themed music a great idea, especially Soprano themed pieces. Use the band more that is college football.
Thank you. Great point. The band has felt like an afterthought this year.
 
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RUTGERS95

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Sep 28, 2005
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There's been plenty of conversations the last month about the much maligned fan experience at our home games, and I'm going to throw in my 2c and ask for anyone interested to either repost their own thoughts here, or jump in with feedback, that I intend to start writing to the department about. Some people will say this stuff isn't important and all we need for a better atmosphere is to win but I don't believe that. No matter how much we win, we're not going to have our own version of Jump Around at Wisconsin without some planning and frankly- care for this.

I've worked in high-end hospitality settings for 20 years, I'm pretty savvy at creating experiences that people return for. I've been attending Rutgers games since 2002, so I was here when you could take a nap in the bleachers (I think I actually did my freshman year) and I was there for Louisville, the best fan experience ever, and every step in between.

To me, the underlying issue is that the gameday staff feels they must "manage" or manipulate the crowd instead of letting fans interact organically. All the other complaints- constant piped in sound, lousy music, too loud, overlapping sound bites, not enough band- are symptoms of this thinking about what the fan experience should be. The best fan moments are grassroots, when one man or a group inspire others to join in on something. As an example, here's tOSU's "O-H-I-O" spreading around the stadium in spite of a commercial for Coke. Obviously if there's an ad running, these fans aren't being led by a jumbotron, they are taking over the joint by themselves. That's much more exciting and makes fans feel like they're contributing to the effort by making the stadium louder and more intimidating. Before Rutgers games became more commercialized, you'd hear spontaneous chants and cheers constantly. When was the last time you heard the simple "Let's Go Rutgers!" cheer with claps to follow? That chant used to spread around so loud, during defensive gameplay, that the sound would echo in the place. Of course the R-U cheer has been bastardized for a decade now, that's probably toast unless they move the student section back to a sideline instead of an end zone. Although it was better when it was side to side, at least it still happened after most touchdowns until the last couple years. Now its instant commercial, and the volume is too loud to get anything started.

Apparently there is a guy with a megaphone to tells the student section how and when to cheer? That's lame. Students are the most raucous people in the house, they don't need guidance. If you train them to cheer when told to by the megaphone guy, they'll be less inclined to do anything spontaneous which is more exciting.

We need to forget about 7 Nation Army. That song belongs to Penn State. Nobody does it better IMO and they did it first, there's no reason we should be doing anything half-assed as our rival.

One scripted cheer that was cool and patently Rutgers was "first down touchdown go RU!" after a first down. Since Joe Nolan took over, he brought "and that is a Rutgerrrrrrrs First Down!" which he would do before the band would play. Now since we go hurry up more regularly, there frequently are times that there's only time for one or the other. Nolan isn't going to give his part up but he should. The band playing a piece of our fight song and giving our fans a chance to cheer along is much more exciting than copying what Nolan does, which he brought from the Jets games where he does the same 1st down and 3rd down calls at MetLife. Yesterday he would start his first down call and the band wasn't waiting for him to start or finish. So fans could either yell "First Down!" with Nolan or chant with the band cadence. Really, really dumb.

The worst though for me was all the crazy sound fx to leading up to our Metallica 3rd down song. Fans don't come to full throat on 3rd down until that song is over. It takes 4-5 seconds once the song is done before they're max volume and most disruptive to the opposing offense. So if the operator plays "MAKE SOME NOISE," and blows the train whistle, and plays that sound effect for Dolby or whatever (the one that used to get played at the beginning of a movie in the 80s or 90s) and then gets to the bell tolling and the guitar playing, then getting everyone yelling and making noise won't happen in time. Not only do you need a few seconds of silent stereo, but at several points yesterday the song clip didn't finish before it had to be cut off. This assumes we have to keep that song for 3rd down, we shouldn't because it doesn't inspire the crowd to yell, but to silently air guitar. Dumb.

I'm not as anti-train horn as others. I think since we have NJT and Amtrak running lines through town, and New Brunswick is the "Hub City" that something transit related as a stadium prop makes sense. On-brand, but grossly overused.

Music- as much as possible should be Jersey themed. Plenty of catalog to pull from, and it doesn't all have to be "hype." Phil Collins "In the Air" isn't the most obvious stadium song, but it works for the lyrics and the mood. Bruce, Bon Jovi, Gaslight Anthem...plenty of Jersey-raised hip hop artists too. Sopranos soundtrack.

Bottom line- very little of the gameday sound production is authentically Rutgers, the experience is just "generic, overproduced college football," and the fans aren't as engaged as they used to be, or as engaged as they should. The fans could be much more of a factor, and the place doesn't have to be 45k full for that to be the case. It's less fun than being a part of a game 10 years ago, and the actual result on the field has no bearing on the specific things I'm writing about.

Also, was surprised that the band didn't play "Loyal Sons" on the field at the end of the game as the crowd departed. Does that not happen anymore?
outstanding assessment, description and solution. Band spot on
you should take this to RU
 

e5fdny

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Great thread but have to say these suggestions by the OP are nothing new.

Many if not all of the above ideas have been talked about for years on here.

They have also been brought to those who could implement them. One I know has, many have not.

What we need to do first is revive that Fan Assessment Group (I might have the name wrong?) we had under Julie that I believe @MrsScrew and @RU4Real were members.
 
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read option

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I get that gameday Ops is trying to create an exciting and engaging experience, but I honestly think they might be trying too hard. There’s so much that’s being scripted essentially in fear that there might be a pause with no piped in music, no PA, no gimmicks. It’s OK! Instead, have a feel for the moment. When the right add is needed and what it is. If in between the fans and students have to figure it out for themselves so be it. Just take out all the crapola and leave in the good stuff. Less is more.
 

e5fdny

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I get that gameday Ops is trying to create an exciting and engaging experience, but I honestly think they might be trying too hard. There’s so much that’s being scripted essentially in fear that there might be a pause with no piped in music, no PA, no gimmicks. It’s OK! Instead, have a feel for the moment. When the right add is needed and what it is. If in between the fans and students have to figure it out for themselves so be it. Just take out all the crapola and leave in the good stuff. Less is more.
👍
 

Knight Shift

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There's been plenty of conversations the last month about the much maligned fan experience at our home games, and I'm going to throw in my 2c and ask for anyone interested to either repost their own thoughts here, or jump in with feedback, that I intend to start writing to the department about. Some people will say this stuff isn't important and all we need for a better atmosphere is to win but I don't believe that. No matter how much we win, we're not going to have our own version of Jump Around at Wisconsin without some planning and frankly- care for this.

I've worked in high-end hospitality settings for 20 years, I'm pretty savvy at creating experiences that people return for. I've been attending Rutgers games since 2002, so I was here when you could take a nap in the bleachers (I think I actually did my freshman year) and I was there for Louisville, the best fan experience ever, and every step in between.

To me, the underlying issue is that the gameday staff feels they must "manage" or manipulate the crowd instead of letting fans interact organically. All the other complaints- constant piped in sound, lousy music, too loud, overlapping sound bites, not enough band- are symptoms of this thinking about what the fan experience should be. The best fan moments are grassroots, when one man or a group inspire others to join in on something. As an example, here's tOSU's "O-H-I-O" spreading around the stadium in spite of a commercial for Coke. Obviously if there's an ad running, these fans aren't being led by a jumbotron, they are taking over the joint by themselves. That's much more exciting and makes fans feel like they're contributing to the effort by making the stadium louder and more intimidating. Before Rutgers games became more commercialized, you'd hear spontaneous chants and cheers constantly. When was the last time you heard the simple "Let's Go Rutgers!" cheer with claps to follow? That chant used to spread around so loud, during defensive gameplay, that the sound would echo in the place. Of course the R-U cheer has been bastardized for a decade now, that's probably toast unless they move the student section back to a sideline instead of an end zone. Although it was better when it was side to side, at least it still happened after most touchdowns until the last couple years. Now its instant commercial, and the volume is too loud to get anything started.

Apparently there is a guy with a megaphone to tells the student section how and when to cheer? That's lame. Students are the most raucous people in the house, they don't need guidance. If you train them to cheer when told to by the megaphone guy, they'll be less inclined to do anything spontaneous which is more exciting.

We need to forget about 7 Nation Army. That song belongs to Penn State. Nobody does it better IMO and they did it first, there's no reason we should be doing anything half-assed as our rival.

One scripted cheer that was cool and patently Rutgers was "first down touchdown go RU!" after a first down. Since Joe Nolan took over, he brought "and that is a Rutgerrrrrrrs First Down!" which he would do before the band would play. Now since we go hurry up more regularly, there frequently are times that there's only time for one or the other. Nolan isn't going to give his part up but he should. The band playing a piece of our fight song and giving our fans a chance to cheer along is much more exciting than copying what Nolan does, which he brought from the Jets games where he does the same 1st down and 3rd down calls at MetLife. Yesterday he would start his first down call and the band wasn't waiting for him to start or finish. So fans could either yell "First Down!" with Nolan or chant with the band cadence. Really, really dumb.

The worst though for me was all the crazy sound fx to leading up to our Metallica 3rd down song. Fans don't come to full throat on 3rd down until that song is over. It takes 4-5 seconds once the song is done before they're max volume and most disruptive to the opposing offense. So if the operator plays "MAKE SOME NOISE," and blows the train whistle, and plays that sound effect for Dolby or whatever (the one that used to get played at the beginning of a movie in the 80s or 90s) and then gets to the bell tolling and the guitar playing, then getting everyone yelling and making noise won't happen in time. Not only do you need a few seconds of silent stereo, but at several points yesterday the song clip didn't finish before it had to be cut off. This assumes we have to keep that song for 3rd down, we shouldn't because it doesn't inspire the crowd to yell, but to silently air guitar. Dumb.

I'm not as anti-train horn as others. I think since we have NJT and Amtrak running lines through town, and New Brunswick is the "Hub City" that something transit related as a stadium prop makes sense. On-brand, but grossly overused.

Music- as much as possible should be Jersey themed. Plenty of catalog to pull from, and it doesn't all have to be "hype." Phil Collins "In the Air" isn't the most obvious stadium song, but it works for the lyrics and the mood. Bruce, Bon Jovi, Gaslight Anthem...plenty of Jersey-raised hip hop artists too. Sopranos soundtrack.

Bottom line- very little of the gameday sound production is authentically Rutgers, the experience is just "generic, overproduced college football," and the fans aren't as engaged as they used to be, or as engaged as they should. The fans could be much more of a factor, and the place doesn't have to be 45k full for that to be the case. It's less fun than being a part of a game 10 years ago, and the actual result on the field has no bearing on the specific things I'm writing about.

Also, was surprised that the band didn't play "Loyal Sons" on the field at the end of the game as the crowd departed. Does that not happen anymore?
Agree with everything, except In the Air Tonight. That song has been the kiss of death more than once, and there is no energy to it. Besides, when was the last night game at SHI?
 

RUJohnny

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Agree with everything, except In the Air Tonight. That song has been the kiss of death more than once, and there is no energy to it. Besides, when was the last night game at SHI?
I was just using that as an example of a less typical song played at a sporting event.

It might be fifteen years too late for this, but I'd like to see the opening 90 seconds of Jungleland (everything up through the drum entrance) I corporates somewhere. That song has the same theme as living on a prayer but with better lyrics.
 

1984

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Great luck my friend...although knowing Rutgers this just goes into the black hole up there.
If only the NSL paper was around and relevant perhaps we could have all chipped in for another 1/4 page ad this time called "What's so wrong about Rutgers Game Day experience".
Maybe we should all just call and leave voicemails with the music blaring in the background so loud they could barely hear the words...and finish by turning it down and making the point lol.
 
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Scarlet16E

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I don't disagree with what the OP is saying here, but I've been at nearly every home game since the 80's and I cant say that I ever noticed the band playing something as the fans departed. Seems like Glory Days has been playing on the PA (after wins) since 2006.
 

RUJohnny

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I don't disagree with what the OP is saying here, but I've been at nearly every home game since the 80's and I cant say that I ever noticed the band playing something as the fans departed. Seems like Glory Days has been playing on the PA (after wins) since 2006.
It's after that. When there's almost noone there. It takes about fifteen minutes after they play the alma mater to get the whole band down onto the field and into formation.
 

RUJohnny

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I don't disagree with what the OP is saying here, but I've been at nearly every home game since the 80's and I cant say that I ever noticed the band playing something as the fans departed. Seems like Glory Days has been playing on the PA (after wins) since 2006.
It's a very stirring arrangement. Worth staying for.
 
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RC1978

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Sorry for the length of this post

OP , you did a nice job summing up the situation. I was on the original Fan Advisory Council and a lot of this came up and I also was the lead with Geoff Brown to get the Alley a very short lived idea. A few pieces of input.

I do not think we can understand how much the Ash years set us back not in just on field performance but also fan participation. In my over 35 years of season tickets it was very rare for me to ever leave a game early. During the Ash years I finally could not sit there any more, heck we were cheering when we finally got a first down. We lost a whole group of students that never came to games to learn any limited traditions we had, so the students that are there today we cannot blame, they have no clue what was done in the past.

I have also heard on this board that a lot of the "old timers" are not coming any more. I know in my section alone I do not recognize a lot of the people that sit there and I sit on the 40 so you would think there would be long time fans there.

The first game was a disaster with the speakers "DJ" etc. As we discussed too loud , constant blaring of songs and never letting cheers to start naturally. This past week the students did start RU chants on their own. They were loud once they got going.

BUT we are so far behind in fan participation it will take winning games and building from the ground up to even get close to other teams. I watch a ton of college football and have been to a lot of other stadiums and just hope we can get there one day.

Some of my pet peeves. I do not blame the band for their sound but I have no clue what they are playing when facing the original home side. Our band is just way too small for a B1G school. When other schools play their Alma Mater most of fans stop talking, some put their arms around each other and sing proudly. At RU, you can not hear it so you have no clue that they are playing it and most of the fans are chatting away since it is right after the SSB. It is always nice when the Glee Club comes to Homecoming and sings it at least we hear the music and words.

I cringe in pre game when the announcer says "Alright RU fans, on your feet for the fight song". More then half the stadium is empty and most cannot hear the music, we look pathetic to any visiting fans.

We use a million excuses why our fans are not in their seats to welcome the team on to the field. IMO those excuses are pathetic. If you care enough to lay out the money and spend your Saturday coming to the game , how hard is it to get your butts in a seat to welcome the team. Go to almost any of our fellow B1G schools or other power 5 schools and the students and fans are in there. Heck some of their games are at 11 their time.

I am not naïve enough to realize that winning will help in some of these issues but getting some traditions going will take a lot of work and time.

The RAC home games show that winning will fix a lot but we should all help any way possible to make a homefield advantage an actual advantage like the RAC does.
 

MrsScrew

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Great thread but have to say these suggestions by the OP are nothing new.

Many if not all of the above ideas have been talked about for years on here.

They have also been brought to those who could implement them. One I know has, many have not.

What we need to do first is revive that Fan Assessment Group (I might have the name wrong?) we had under Julie that I believe @MrsScrew and @RU4Real were members.

I kept applying, unfortunately I was never selected.

I think the OP makes some excellent, well thought out and rational suggestions.
 

e5fdny

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I kept applying, unfortunately I was never selected.

I think the OP makes some excellent, well thought out and rational suggestions.
He really does but they are all suggestions many of us have put forth before.

Let’s hope someone is reading the thread and listens this time.🙂

And thank you, @RC1978 for giving us the correct name for the Fan Advisory Council as I just couldn’t remember the name.
 

AreYouNUTS

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“Apparently there is a guy with a megaphone to tells the student section how and when to cheer? That's lame. Students are the most raucous people in the house, they don't need guidance. If you train them to cheer when told to by the megaphone guy, they'll be less inclined to do anything spontaneous which is more exciting.”

…This has been done in a lot of the bigger stadiums throughout the country for decades now. Nothing new here. Even places like West Point and College Station, with cadets, have them. I actually LOVE this and mentioned doing it to KMac when we first opened up the “new” stadium in ‘94.
 
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RutgersFan

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I too agree with the OP, and his well-written and thought-out ideas and suggestions.

As mentioned, many of these have been presented before, either informally in message boards, season ticket surveys, etc., or formally on the Fan Advisory Council.

However, we all know that there is only one person that can make this happen - Greg Schiano.

What Greg wants, Greg gets. He knows how things work at Rutgers, how to make things happen and get things done.

Look no further than the Block R - it was his idea, and now see it everywhere.

At one time, Wisconsin did not have Jump Around, nor did Virginia Tech have Enter Sandman.

The original idea for the third-down music was Schiano's - we stuck with it and it is now our tradition.

We need to pick other music and themes, especially unique to Rutgers and New Jersey, stick with it, and make it our own. We were off to a good start with "Knight Pulse", but there has been no consistency.

Obviously, in-season is not the time to approach Schiano with this.

However, as fans, the time is now to ask ourselves, what can we do, knowing how deeply we care about this, to compile these well though-out ideas and suggestions.

Then, how can we get an audience with Schiano in the off-season, so as to make these things happen?

This is all a part of awaking the sleeping giant of Rutgers, and truly be a part of the great fan-based stadium experiences seen throughout the Big Ten.
 

AreYouNUTS

Legend
Aug 1, 2001
102,957
23,736
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There's been plenty of conversations the last month about the much maligned fan experience at our home games, and I'm going to throw in my 2c and ask for anyone interested to either repost their own thoughts here, or jump in with feedback, that I intend to start writing to the department about. Some people will say this stuff isn't important and all we need for a better atmosphere is to win but I don't believe that. No matter how much we win, we're not going to have our own version of Jump Around at Wisconsin without some planning and frankly- care for this.

I've worked in high-end hospitality settings for 20 years, I'm pretty savvy at creating experiences that people return for. I've been attending Rutgers games since 2002, so I was here when you could take a nap in the bleachers (I think I actually did my freshman year) and I was there for Louisville, the best fan experience ever, and every step in between.

To me, the underlying issue is that the gameday staff feels they must "manage" or manipulate the crowd instead of letting fans interact organically. All the other complaints- constant piped in sound, lousy music, too loud, overlapping sound bites, not enough band- are symptoms of this thinking about what the fan experience should be. The best fan moments are grassroots, when one man or a group inspire others to join in on something. As an example, here's tOSU's "O-H-I-O" spreading around the stadium in spite of a commercial for Coke. Obviously if there's an ad running, these fans aren't being led by a jumbotron, they are taking over the joint by themselves. That's much more exciting and makes fans feel like they're contributing to the effort by making the stadium louder and more intimidating. Before Rutgers games became more commercialized, you'd hear spontaneous chants and cheers constantly. When was the last time you heard the simple "Let's Go Rutgers!" cheer with claps to follow? That chant used to spread around so loud, during defensive gameplay, that the sound would echo in the place. Of course the R-U cheer has been bastardized for a decade now, that's probably toast unless they move the student section back to a sideline instead of an end zone. Although it was better when it was side to side, at least it still happened after most touchdowns until the last couple years. Now its instant commercial, and the volume is too loud to get anything started.

Apparently there is a guy with a megaphone to tells the student section how and when to cheer? That's lame. Students are the most raucous people in the house, they don't need guidance. If you train them to cheer when told to by the megaphone guy, they'll be less inclined to do anything spontaneous which is more exciting.

We need to forget about 7 Nation Army. That song belongs to Penn State. Nobody does it better IMO and they did it first, there's no reason we should be doing anything half-assed as our rival.

One scripted cheer that was cool and patently Rutgers was "first down touchdown go RU!" after a first down. Since Joe Nolan took over, he brought "and that is a Rutgerrrrrrrs First Down!" which he would do before the band would play. Now since we go hurry up more regularly, there frequently are times that there's only time for one or the other. Nolan isn't going to give his part up but he should. The band playing a piece of our fight song and giving our fans a chance to cheer along is much more exciting than copying what Nolan does, which he brought from the Jets games where he does the same 1st down and 3rd down calls at MetLife. Yesterday he would start his first down call and the band wasn't waiting for him to start or finish. So fans could either yell "First Down!" with Nolan or chant with the band cadence. Really, really dumb.

The worst though for me was all the crazy sound fx to leading up to our Metallica 3rd down song. Fans don't come to full throat on 3rd down until that song is over. It takes 4-5 seconds once the song is done before they're max volume and most disruptive to the opposing offense. So if the operator plays "MAKE SOME NOISE," and blows the train whistle, and plays that sound effect for Dolby or whatever (the one that used to get played at the beginning of a movie in the 80s or 90s) and then gets to the bell tolling and the guitar playing, then getting everyone yelling and making noise won't happen in time. Not only do you need a few seconds of silent stereo, but at several points yesterday the song clip didn't finish before it had to be cut off. This assumes we have to keep that song for 3rd down, we shouldn't because it doesn't inspire the crowd to yell, but to silently air guitar. Dumb.

I'm not as anti-train horn as others. I think since we have NJT and Amtrak running lines through town, and New Brunswick is the "Hub City" that something transit related as a stadium prop makes sense. On-brand, but grossly overused.

Music- as much as possible should be Jersey themed. Plenty of catalog to pull from, and it doesn't all have to be "hype." Phil Collins "In the Air" isn't the most obvious stadium song, but it works for the lyrics and the mood. Bruce, Bon Jovi, Gaslight Anthem...plenty of Jersey-raised hip hop artists too. Sopranos soundtrack.

Bottom line- very little of the gameday sound production is authentically Rutgers, the experience is just "generic, overproduced college football," and the fans aren't as engaged as they used to be, or as engaged as they should. The fans could be much more of a factor, and the place doesn't have to be 45k full for that to be the case. It's less fun than being a part of a game 10 years ago, and the actual result on the field has no bearing on the specific things I'm writing about.

Also, was surprised that the band didn't play "Loyal Sons" on the field at the end of the game as the crowd departed. Does that not happen anymore?

Well done Johnny, however, “In The Air Tonight???” Seriously? It’s about his depression after being divorced by his 1st wife, isn’t exactly a sing-along, and Phil isn’t from New Jersey, so I really don’t get this one. Help me out??!!
 

jaydogsmooth1

Redshirt
Jul 28, 2021
91
64
18
I kept applying, unfortunately I was never selected.

I think the OP makes some excellent, well thought out and rational suggestions.
If anyone deserves to be on the advisory board it’s Mrs screw !
Keep applying (if they still have it)
Also love the ideas out forth here
Saturday’s game, besides the outcome, left a lot to be desired
 

bac2therac

Legend
Gold Member
Jul 30, 2001
180,783
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Belle Mead NJ
There's been plenty of conversations the last month about the much maligned fan experience at our home games, and I'm going to throw in my 2c and ask for anyone interested to either repost their own thoughts here, or jump in with feedback, that I intend to start writing to the department about. Some people will say this stuff isn't important and all we need for a better atmosphere is to win but I don't believe that. No matter how much we win, we're not going to have our own version of Jump Around at Wisconsin without some planning and frankly- care for this.

I've worked in high-end hospitality settings for 20 years, I'm pretty savvy at creating experiences that people return for. I've been attending Rutgers games since 2002, so I was here when you could take a nap in the bleachers (I think I actually did my freshman year) and I was there for Louisville, the best fan experience ever, and every step in between.

To me, the underlying issue is that the gameday staff feels they must "manage" or manipulate the crowd instead of letting fans interact organically. All the other complaints- constant piped in sound, lousy music, too loud, overlapping sound bites, not enough band- are symptoms of this thinking about what the fan experience should be. The best fan moments are grassroots, when one man or a group inspire others to join in on something. As an example, here's tOSU's "O-H-I-O" spreading around the stadium in spite of a commercial for Coke. Obviously if there's an ad running, these fans aren't being led by a jumbotron, they are taking over the joint by themselves. That's much more exciting and makes fans feel like they're contributing to the effort by making the stadium louder and more intimidating. Before Rutgers games became more commercialized, you'd hear spontaneous chants and cheers constantly. When was the last time you heard the simple "Let's Go Rutgers!" cheer with claps to follow? That chant used to spread around so loud, during defensive gameplay, that the sound would echo in the place. Of course the R-U cheer has been bastardized for a decade now, that's probably toast unless they move the student section back to a sideline instead of an end zone. Although it was better when it was side to side, at least it still happened after most touchdowns until the last couple years. Now its instant commercial, and the volume is too loud to get anything started.

Apparently there is a guy with a megaphone to tells the student section how and when to cheer? That's lame. Students are the most raucous people in the house, they don't need guidance. If you train them to cheer when told to by the megaphone guy, they'll be less inclined to do anything spontaneous which is more exciting.

We need to forget about 7 Nation Army. That song belongs to Penn State. Nobody does it better IMO and they did it first, there's no reason we should be doing anything half-assed as our rival.

One scripted cheer that was cool and patently Rutgers was "first down touchdown go RU!" after a first down. Since Joe Nolan took over, he brought "and that is a Rutgerrrrrrrs First Down!" which he would do before the band would play. Now since we go hurry up more regularly, there frequently are times that there's only time for one or the other. Nolan isn't going to give his part up but he should. The band playing a piece of our fight song and giving our fans a chance to cheer along is much more exciting than copying what Nolan does, which he brought from the Jets games where he does the same 1st down and 3rd down calls at MetLife. Yesterday he would start his first down call and the band wasn't waiting for him to start or finish. So fans could either yell "First Down!" with Nolan or chant with the band cadence. Really, really dumb.

The worst though for me was all the crazy sound fx to leading up to our Metallica 3rd down song. Fans don't come to full throat on 3rd down until that song is over. It takes 4-5 seconds once the song is done before they're max volume and most disruptive to the opposing offense. So if the operator plays "MAKE SOME NOISE," and blows the train whistle, and plays that sound effect for Dolby or whatever (the one that used to get played at the beginning of a movie in the 80s or 90s) and then gets to the bell tolling and the guitar playing, then getting everyone yelling and making noise won't happen in time. Not only do you need a few seconds of silent stereo, but at several points yesterday the song clip didn't finish before it had to be cut off. This assumes we have to keep that song for 3rd down, we shouldn't because it doesn't inspire the crowd to yell, but to silently air guitar. Dumb.

I'm not as anti-train horn as others. I think since we have NJT and Amtrak running lines through town, and New Brunswick is the "Hub City" that something transit related as a stadium prop makes sense. On-brand, but grossly overused.

Music- as much as possible should be Jersey themed. Plenty of catalog to pull from, and it doesn't all have to be "hype." Phil Collins "In the Air" isn't the most obvious stadium song, but it works for the lyrics and the mood. Bruce, Bon Jovi, Gaslight Anthem...plenty of Jersey-raised hip hop artists too. Sopranos soundtrack.

Bottom line- very little of the gameday sound production is authentically Rutgers, the experience is just "generic, overproduced college football," and the fans aren't as engaged as they used to be, or as engaged as they should. The fans could be much more of a factor, and the place doesn't have to be 45k full for that to be the case. It's less fun than being a part of a game 10 years ago, and the actual result on the field has no bearing on the specific things I'm writing about.

Also, was surprised that the band didn't play "Loyal Sons" on the field at the end of the game as the crowd departed. Does that not happen anymore?


Good post

Unfortunately the way of arenas and stadiums have moved away from wglhat seperated college vs pro. Loud rap or dance music every second. This has happened cat the RAC too. I think there is no going bac to how things used to be.
 

bac2therac

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Jul 30, 2001
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But ill add because these were all discussed the last 20 years when the rac had down years

Its all about winning

You can't engage a football stadium when youve lost 17 straight league home games
 
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e5fdny

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Gold Member
Nov 11, 2002
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Good post

Unfortunately the way of arenas and stadiums have moved away from what has separated college vs pro. Loud rap or dance music every second. This has happened at the RAC too. I think there is no going back to how things used to be.
We'll see...

Maybe not all the back, but we'll see.
 

RUJohnny

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Oct 28, 2005
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Well done Johnny, however, “In The Air Tonight???” Seriously? It’s about his depression after being divorced by his 1st wife, isn’t exactly a sing-along, and Phil isn’t from New Jersey, so I really don’t get this one. Help me out??!!
Al you're the second person to make this comment so I must not have explained myself clearly in the OP. In the Air is an example of a song that doesn't fit the typical stadium music model. Right now at SHI every single song is hype level 10/10. It's overwhelming and desensitizing. Not every song has to be so damn intense to be enjoyable in a live football environment. In the Air tonight is an example of that, I wasn't endorsing it be utilized specifically. Sweet Caroline is another example. Country roads yet another.

I think Jungleland could be our "atypical" stadium song. Who wouldn't love to shout/sing "down in Jungleland!" with Bruce after he declares that we "take our stand?!"
 
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AreYouNUTS

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Aug 1, 2001
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Al you're the second person to make this comment so I must not have explained myself clearly in the OP. In the Air is an example of a song that doesn't fit the typical stadium music model. Right now at SHI every single song is hype level 10/10. It's overwhelming and desensitizing. Not every song has to be so damn intense to be enjoyable in a live football environment. In the Air tonight is an example of that, I wasn't endorsing it be utilized specifically. Sweet Caroline is another example. Country roads yet another.

I think Jungleland could be our "atypical" stadium song. Who wouldn't love to shout/sing "down in Jungleland!" with Bruce after he declares that we "take our stand?!"
lol not “Al” but gotcha, thx!!!
 

bob-loblaw

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Jan 24, 2011
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Meh.

I'm all for student :"cheer" leaders. They work phenomenally at Kyle Field. Most of the suggestions here are nice, but spoken like a true late 30's y/o wine drinker. As someone else said, Ash straight napalmed any traditions or enthusiasm towards the program. I view this year as an aggressive attempt to figure out what works for the students and the team.

Greg is an aggressive micromanager and picked up a lot from another notorious micromanager (Urban). dude has his hands on the pulse of what the students want, and what the team wants to hear.
 

e5fdny

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Nov 11, 2002
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Meh.

I'm all for student :"cheer" leaders. They work phenomenally at Kyle Field. Most of the suggestions here are nice, but spoken like a true late 30's y/o wine drinker. As someone else said, Ash straight napalmed any traditions or enthusiasm towards the program. I view this year as an aggressive attempt to figure out what works for the students and the team.

Greg is an aggressive micromanager and picked up a lot from another notorious micromanager (Urban). dude has his hands on the pulse of what the students want, and what the team wants to hear.
They were also doing things at tOSU before Urban got there. Just like we were here.

Coaches come and go but University traditions continue. As they should.
 
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