Usually, when it comes to sports, FAMU is only considered among the elite in one thing, the ‘Marching 100.’ People sometimes come to the games just to see the band play then leave.
However, FAMU is known for things that people outside of Tallahassee wouldn’t understand, but people seem to forget about our basketball rituals.
You’re missing out if you haven’t gotten a chance to catch a men’s or women’s basketball game. Not just the experience of actually being at a college basketball game, but everything that goes along with it, all of the traditions and rituals, everything. It’s a culture.
There are two main things that FAMU does at basketball games that few do not do at other schools, or at least do them as well as FAMU.
The first is the “sit down.” The “sit down” is when a player on the opposing team receives his or her fifth foul and has been ejected from the game. As the player makes his or her way to the bench, the crowd screams “left, right, left, right, left, right.” When the opponent makes it to his or her seat, the crowd simultaneously screams “sit down,” somewhat provoking the player.
The receivers usually respond differently to those words. Usually the player stays down, but in the Maryland Eastern Shore game, a player fouled out and got back up and sat back down and got back up and sat back down and so on. And our crowd continued to say sit down.
The other ritual is done towards the end of the game – an award that is given to the person who is the “most overdressed for a basketball game.” It’s usually given to girls, but I’ve seen some guys receive it. When coming to a basketball game people usually are dressed down and wear FAMU apparel. But there are some that come to the game in a nice dress and high heels, or in a button-up with some gator shoes trying to look cute.
As people walk into the game the DJ, as well as the crowd, peeps their outfits and at the end of the night, they decide who the winner is. Some people are happy that they win the award, some don’t understand what’s going on and some get angry.
Of the many things we do, those two are the ones that stick in people’s minds. And those two things, among others, are the reasons why FAMU is one of the toughest HBCUs to play at.
Arize Ifejika is a junior magazine production student from Washington, D.C. He is the Assistant Sports Editor for The Famuan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org