Updated Thu, Feb 2, 2012 12:51 pm
The Ohio University "O Zone" is usually visible at football and basketball games, but one can’t count on it being heard, staying for the majority of the game, or even seeming to care.
That is never a problem with "Gang Green," Ohio Hockey’s cheering section. Gang Green has fewer members, but it seems to be louder and more enthusiastic than the O Zone.
Although it only occupies one section of the stands at Bird Arena, what Gang Green lacks in size, it makes up for in passion.
“The atmosphere at Bird Arena is great. Sometimes at Ohio football games, it’s dead by halftime. But here, we are screaming for the hockey team until the end of the game,” Gang Green member Nick McIntosh said.
The O Zone’s problems have been well-documented; there is rarely anyone left in the O Zone after halftime of the football games.
For some reason, Ohio students don’t have the initiative to get out and root for the Bobcats, whether it is due to a lack of interest or a competition with Court Street.
Gang Green has something that the O Zone lacks: dedication. In the words of Gang Green member Bailey Dumaine, “We appreciate the team and they appreciate us, it’s that simple.”
Dumaine accredits Gang Green’s effectiveness to size and organization.
“We can be more organized, because we’re smaller. We can get the message or cheer across and people can understand it,” she said.
While Gang Green is smaller than the O Zone, its enthusiasm, coupled with the tight confines of Bird Arena, creates a rowdy environment.
“The smaller environment helps us, it makes it seem louder and crazier because everyone is all packed in,” said Tony Keffer, a Gang Green member.
Whether it is banging hockey sticks on bleachers in synchronization, getting the crowd to harmoniously sing along to “Sweet Caroline,” or chanting “you suck!” after every opposing player’s introduction, Gang Green makes its presence known.
As a member of both Gang Green and the O Zone, Tony Keffer has no doubt that Gang Green is louder than the O Zone.
“We have to be louder. I go to the O Zone for every basketball game, and I have to say that Gang Green is louder, especially if you take size into account,” Keffer said.
Gang Green’s dedication and enthusiasm does not go unnoticed, “I’ve been told by a couple of players that it’s a big deal to have us here supporting them,” Keffer added.
Brendan Madden, a freshman goaltender for Ohio, backed Keffer’s statement up, saying, “say that somebody makes a huge hit and [Gang Green goes] wild, it gets everyone motivated and ready to go.”
Hockey fans have always been known to be a different breed, and that is definitely true for Gang Green. It may not be the biggest cheering section around, but it is the most passionate.
As the famous saying goes, with a few alterations of course, “It’s not the size of the Bobcat in the fight, but the size of the fight in the Bobcat.”