Student Sections Controversy
Basketball '07

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   In a story about the North Catholic at Dougherty basketball game, played 1/17/07, I wrote that Dougherty's student rooters, camped out in the Looney Bin, seemed unusually subdued. I received two responses from rooters, and they're shown below. We'd like to hear your thoughts. Should the students be muffled? Should they be allowed to bust chops, within reason? This is becoming a league-wide issue. Your INTELLIGENT comments on this matter will be posted below. Students AND adults are encouraged to contribute. Even players.
   Send to silaryt@phillynews.com.
   Please advise if I should post your name and/or e-mail address.
   Thank you,
   Ted Silary
 


  i recently read your review about the dougherty v.s. north game. You mentioned that the students for douhgerty did not start getting riled up until the second half. I attend just about every game for my school (Dougherty) and am proud to represent the bin like most who sit there. The problem was is that the administration hates our remarks and the way we heckle the other teams. They used the fight against mcdevitt and dougherty to limit what we can and can not say. The fight that occured had nothing to do with what members of the bin were saying. In fact the fight did not involve anyone from either schools. But none the less the administration has decided to virtually abolish home court advantage. Me and many who chant were having extreme difficulty thinking of things to say since we are from no on supposed to say only positive remarks. Another problem was that every time we beat on the mat the rent a cop would look in our direction. It has gotten so out of hand that we are only permitted to stand up in the bin when we are cheering. That means that when we are silent and standing a rent a cop will come over and tell  us we have to sit. My problem with that is the students who sit in the bin know what they are getting into. They choose to sit there and know that people will be standing up. We finally got a little bold and chanted "over rated" and "start the buses" late late in the game because at that point there was no reason to kick us out. (it was half a minnuete left in the game.) We got extremely rowdy at the Egan v.s. Dougherty game and we plan to do the same v.s. Judge. I was actually kicked out of the game v.s. Egan with a little more than 5 minutes left in the game for a remark that i would not have been kicked out for had the rent a cops not been there. I love my school but i want to make it clear that the student of Cardinal Dougherty are being silenced by the administration and no one is happy about it. I can reassure you that there will never be a repeat performance from the students like there was against north.
Sincerely
Pat Egan "07"
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  ted i am a CD student and i was at the game on wed. i just wanted u to know that the students were told to be quiet that is why we were so quiet. we were told on tues. that no taunting could take place and if you noticed the agent came over every whistle and told us to calm down so that's why we were so quiet. maybe if the school wasn't so uptight about a fight that we were never involved in.
from,
 -- jon swing a cd baseball player "07"
swingjonathan@yahoo.com

  (Ted's note: Both guys are referring to the fight between adults that halted the McDevitt-at-Dougherty game in early January. From all accounts, the altercation had nothing to do with basketball. Mostly, we're hearing that one guy was mad at another when someone knocked his coat through the stands to the floor down below and then refused to go retrieve it.)
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Wanted to chime in about student sections; I have been doing major event security and coaching in the PCL for about the same amount of time. And security is the problem, having an administrator or administrators at a game is not the answer, having big wigs from down town is not the answer. None of those people are trained to handle security problems, such as fights, unruly behavior etc… First thing you need to do is be able to spot a potential problem and keep an eye on it. You need to have conflict resolution skills, if the problem can’t be resolved you remove the problem. The big wigs downtown ignore this. They think there presence is enough to avoid problems (WRONG!) last years championship was a big example of this. There answer was to close the doors to 2 basketball games this year Suspend one coach for 4 games for NOTHING he did. Events go on every day in this city and we have problems at some of them. If we did what the People downtown did at a Villanova game we would be the laughing stock of the nation, picture it. ‘Nova wins, in the fray of things a player gets hit with a bottle, 2 students get into a fight what do we do?
   Scenario 1: Both teams are quickly taken to the locker room. The fight is broken up and all parties involved are removed. The person who threw the bottle is subject to $250 fine and it is enforced. We are attentively watching the crowd and know where the bottle came from ( I know where are the 50 Flava Flav signs? We didn’t let those in)
  Scenario 2: We have poor response time, we celebrate with the ‘Nova student body and don’t even know there is a problem. We didn’t see anyone throw a bottle. So what do we do now? Next year nobody is allowed to watch the Villanova/ Temple game  and Jay Wright will be suspended for 4 games.
  Now my question to everyone is this, Does scenario 2 sound like we addressed the problem?
-- anonymous
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  I am an 06 graduate of CD and am still well in tune with what the school is doing with the situation. In fact, I am hoping you would post this so all my fellow "binners" are informed that the Looney Bin is allowed to be in full force and that any rules against are being revoked. No cops to tell the bin to hush up -and yes they are officers or retired officers not "rent-a-cops". This means all the banging and screamin and hopefully extreme taunting should be expected come Friday night against big rival Father Judge.
  Both my brother's and my sister played varsity basketball for Dougherty and I've been screamin my head off in the bin since about '96. 10 years ive been in there and i've heard it all- from cursing to horrible taunts. I realize that you have cleared the issue that our students did not cause any problems however I'd like to take this opportunity to get something off of my chest. The tolerance across the league, for what I recognize as minor insults compared to taunts of yester-year, has gone down. I'd like to clear it up that, while the bin will mock you ridiculously until your parent's send letters to our school (FJ), you shouldn't take it personally (and don't show the bin you've taken taunts personally, just dont do it, most likely you'll be offended again and again).
I want visitors to know that "if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen."
I don't mean to sound immature about this topic, but people need to know that's just what this is. It is kids cheering immaturely for their school to show a sense of pride. Adults should stay out of it. I know for a fact that extremes, like the F' bomb, are never used. So  Besides the looney bin is too good for that, they'd rather be clever with their taunting. Dougherty is a place of great pride which perhaps other schools can't compare with.
I hope the Looney Bin lives up to its name here and doesn't lose their loony-ness 
Tom McDonald '06
"you can take the boy out of the bin but you can't take the bin out of the boy!"
haha
P.S.(to the bin): School is not up tight for no reason, but they don't care what you do.
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  As a parent of an InterAc basketball player and a daughter who attends a suburban public high school, I attend no fewer than 25 HS hoops games per year and have been for the last 8-10 years. There is no doubt in my mind that student "sections" at each game are ever increasing in their intensity, their loud and often silly remarks, their "taunting" of opposing players, coaches and refs, and I am concerned about it. Couple this with the ever present and increasing "fathers/mothers turned referees" that are multiplying like rabbits in the suburbs, and basketball games are turning into often out-of-control verbal war games. Disconcerting to say the least.
  My observations:
- clearly less "cheering" and more "jeering" these days from the student section
- clearly each teams' loudest student rooters are going "toe to toe'" with opposing teams rooter section and this ever-present tension builds back-and-forth as each minute ticks off;
- 9 out of every 10 "remarks" are neither clever nor funny anymore; frankly, for the most part, they are embarrassing
- the "game within a game" of the administrators or police monitoring the crowd and watching for obvious rude remarks or chants has detracted 150% from the game being played on the court
- 95% the remarks and chants are not "cheering" for the home team that does something well; rather, they are purposely "against" the other team. When did this trend begin and who started this bassackwards way of cheering? Whoever it is, they should be shot.
-For the most part, the cheers are often directed at a specific player on the opposing team who, for whatever or haphazard reason, has been "chosen" by the throngs as the recipient of these crazy blurbs and taunts; heck, I sat at a game last week where they taunted the BEST player on the court simply because he had a shorter, crewcut-like hair (which actually looked pretty darn good) calling him "baldie and bald eagle". Silly, cruel, and unnecessary. Only solace was the kid "lit up" the other team for 14 in the final quarter. Paybacks can be painful.
- Although I have never attended a CD game nor witnessed the "Looney Bin", based on the quality of the comments I see posted it does not look like I'm missing anything; I can tell spelling and grammar are definitely NOT being taught "in the Bin"
-- A Parent Who Has to Listen to this Stuff
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  I first would like to say thank you for all the comments of all those for this issue (including the ones against the bins cause.) I would first like to start off by saying to the parent that i would love to invite her to the Cardinal Dougherty building to attend a basketball game at her leizue. I will be able to show my Loquacious  personality and extensive vocabulary to her. I believe i will also be able to show why Cardinal Dougherty is at the apex of the Catholic league. Also i do realize that my spelling may not be the best but seriously your a parent. I think that comment was extremely immature and you, in my book, brought yourself down in standards.
I would like to credit where credit is due. kevin Schafer is a player for the Conwell Egan basketball team. That kid got it rite. We got on him for everyrthing when Dougherty played North and the best part was....He just shook his head and smiled. I personally love players like that. Now i do love when i can tell that my actions have gotten into a players head, but some players take things way to personally. After the game if i were to get into  a conversation with a player who i have been heckling, the first thing i would say was "no hard feelings." Because there are no hard feelings. The job, in my opinon, of the student rooter is to do everything in his/her power to help their team win. Lets face it cheering for your team helps, but getting into the oppositions head helps even greater. Tom Macdonald got it rite when he said "Dont take it so personall." Parents are outraged at the things we say. "How could he say that about our billy?" The reason they are outraged is because they did not have the passion we have when they were in highschool. But before the parents ask their children "Does this happen at every game?" (meaning the heckling and cheering) they immediatly send a letter to the school in an attempt to shut us up.
A few years ago i saw a report about the student rooters for i belive the university of southern Missori. The student rooters for their beloved golden eagels, will find the student directory for the opposing team. They will then proceede to call all the players on gameday at times around 2-3 am to wake them up. They will non stop heckle them when they arrive and when they leave. The we go to Duke v.s. Maryland. "Blank you J J" could be heard all over the maryland campus when then Duke star J J Redick was attempting foul shots. My point is Are we really taking it to far? Or has this country just become more passionate about sports?
I play Lacrosse for Dougherty and am the worst goalie in the Catholic League. I give out goals like the soup kitchen gives out soup. If someone on another team wants to make fun of me because im not good. It is up to me to look myself in the mirror and say "Your rite im terrible."
To those who are aginast the casue of the bin i have this to say. No one likes being restricted NO ONE. When you get used to something you never like giving it up (Where are my smokers at?) So it might be easy for all of you to say "This is horrible you students are a disgrace. They should take this away." but i paid my money to get in. I paid my 5 thousand to attend the school. Dont tell me i can not cheer for them because of little Sammy's parents who did not like what we were saying.
Maybe im being a tad bit obtuse in the matter but im very passionate about the school.
Pat Egan 07"
"The hawk will never die!" wait scratch that "The bin will never die!!"
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Just like pat egan i would like to thank everyone for writing somethinhg about this.  This comment is directed at the parent who belives we are not learing anything at our fine school cd.  Thank you for putting your comments in however they are completely false and prove what type of person you are.  If you are at 20 high school games a year you have proven you have never been to cd. Unliike the inter ac the catholic league  has amazing passion for our amazing schools.  Our school is amazing in every way possible.  We have a great faculty, student body, and an amazing group of athletes.  Please do not compare cd to any to any other  school.  The looney bin is a group of cd studenst past and present who love cd.  We are respectful and full of class!  We do not drop the f bomb we cheer for our team and we support our team through the good and bad! I am extremely sorry that i typed quickly and mispelled something.  I am a very good student athlete who recives honors! If you want to experience a good time and see great basketball unlike inter ac basketball  please be at cardinal dougherty on friday when we play father judge (fudge). The game will b amazing and the bin will be ready to go!
Thank you and please if you have any comments post them or email me swingjonathan@yahoo.com!,
Jon swing cd "07"
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I hate to make this personal, however, I won't sit back and let my Alma Mater take verbal abuse from an InterAc parent who is as naive to the world as their student sections may be. If I really wanted to sound that smart on a topic as childish as this, I would have made up my own research too. "95% are not cheering"? Did you calculate that, really? And do you think that you being a tiny more, if any bit more, verbose than the HIGH SCHOOL students writing on here makes you sound smart. I looked over your letter and feel as though the only "grown-up" word you used was disconcerting. The way you talk about me and my former classmates is rather “disquieting" to me. Forgive them, if they don't take the time between school work, maybe a full-time job, and "jeering" for their school, to put their letters through MS word processor to fit your literary needs. Turn your nose down a little and get off your high horse. I'm willing to admit I believe you that the section probably did mock the kid for his nice little shape up (In the city that's known as trim/ hair cut). Did they all happen to look like pot-smoking, low life yuppies, with long greasy, mangy looking hair? I bet most of them did. And, yes, it was very wrong of me to say something like that however stereotyping seems to be your thing. That would be funnier if it was a bunched of crew cut kids yelling at a "bobble-headed", "Carrot Top" looking kid (Bobble-headed- yes, I made up my own word, Shakespeare had many). I don't like to do that but you need to realize you don't know the student body of Cardinal Dougherty and how great they are and how well they get along. We receive transfers from all over and say how much better the school is from other places. You wouldn't know this so I'm going to let you in on our secret: diversity! And I don't mean we have this and that race. I mean they get along like family. Maybe that's why we feel a little better about poking fun at a player who signs up, pays a fee, and knows they are going to get mocked more than a grade-school bully. It all sounds off topic but I'm trying to show you that we do it for the love of our school don't put us in same topic as "daddy sends us here" kids. So sorry if you're extremes don't match ours. And as far as the "Looney Bin" is concerned, the student make-up unlike your "look-at-me-I'm-TRYING-to-be-funny" kids, understands the game and would purposely get into the "crew-cut" boy's head in hopes he would never "light us up." They don't do it just for the sake of being jerks. And as far as you writing it off as you would never want to go see "the Bin," shows you don't know much about Philly basketball. As a matter of fact, this web site gave the Looney Bin its name. Oh and the remark "they should be shot" should be expunged from your repertoire because I like my life. And maybe I was a little harsh on your kids. Just don't compare apples to oranges.
A kid who shouts that stuff,
Tom McDonald '06
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First off, I want everyone ot know I am a student at North Catholic, NOT Cardinal Dougherty, and i think that this whole subject has gotten way out of hand.
  First thing  thing that i think is important that a Mr. Patrick Egan brought up is that in the fight at the Dougherty vs. McDevitt game, no students were involved, and who is being punished, students.  I attended a Cardinal Dougherty basketball game last year and sat in the Looney Bin, and i must say it was ecstatic there, it was great how much support the team got from the crowd, I mean we have nothing like that at North (probably because half of our team is public school transfers, so it is technically not OUR team, but that's another issue) And what other sport does sport does Dougherty have that they can go nuts over, their football team is not very great, their wrestling team is average and i hear that they will not stun the Catholic League in lacrosse this year either.  So let the kids have their cheering section, and jeering section.  People complain about how the crowds make up taunts to distract the other team and so forth, but they will have to deal with that their whole lives.  If the players move on to college ball, they will get taunted, if they get into the NBA (doubt it but ya never know) they will have to deal with taunts, and even if they just get a job after high school, someone wil always be better and be picking on them, that's the way life is, and if people think it is unfair, they can go sit in a corner and cry the rest of their lives. 
Look, Dougherty is a great school, even though i do not go there, i know an ample amount of students their and they all are cool, and because of one small fight they now cannot stand up and scream to help their team out, RIDICULOUS!
Derek Graham
North Catholic Class of '07
  P.S. I will be at the Douigherty vs. Judge game,. and if the Looney Bin is not let out and taunts are put down, I'll bash Judge myself, they're more my rival then theirs anyways.
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I don't know how many people are even still responding to this situation Ted
so if it's not worth it don't waste your time and print it,  but if you
think somebody is still listening please post this. First off, I would like
to start off by saying that I am a very proud Dougherty graduate, and take,
I won't say offense, but kind of disrespect that proud mother from the
Inter-ac wanted to add your two cents in on the "BIN". The disrespect isn't
directed towards Dougherty, to me she sent it towards the whole city of
Philadelphia. I can say as someone that is 23 years old and a former
Dougherty football player, I see Father Judge, North Catholic, Roman
Catholic, and McDevitt people all aound the city (bars mainly) and still 
we have talks about our games, certain plays, and the All-Star game, even
to this day.  I hated every loss we ever had (I went to Dougherty so we had
a lot) but our FEW fans let the other team have it, I don't care if it was
70-0, they let them know where they were at. This is, by the way, the city
that threw snowballs at Santa, batteries at J.D. Drew, and cheered at
Michael Irvin's last game (I was there and I loved it) so what would make you
think that high school basketball would be different. Read the articles
about all the fights that have took place over the last two years in
Philadelphia high school sports, one thing you won't see is the KIDS.
Adults, if that is want you to call them, started the fights and gave
whatever schools that were playing, along with the city,  a bad rap that
they didn't deserve. To everyone in high school that reads this, if you are
not an athlete, or at least not in that game, abuse, yell, and give hell to
the other team because that is your job, there's a reason why you get a
discount on your ticket, make your school (I hate to say it) whatever it is
PROUD. Back to that Inter-ac parent, I would like to say I'm sorry. Sorry
"that great division" will never have the passion that any team in this city
has. Sorry that you have never been to the "Bin" as you so clearly stated,
but had so much to say about it and the city it comes from. Do yourself a
favor, if you ever have the privilege (how did I figure that word out)  to
come to our house, why don't you stay home, you probably wouldn't get it.
I'm sorry Ted I have read your web site for years now,  this is the first
thing I ever felt the reason to put my two cents in . . . Huck thanks for the
defensive MVP, keep me alive for the 10 year.
-- anonymous

P.S. I'm sorry to hear about the sad state of event's at CD. Keep your
head's up, remember CD was built on the foundation of it's alumni,  be proud
and go Cardinal's. R.I.P. Father Kennedy, don't get me wrong, Father Kennedy
did not pass away, thank God, but, when he left a piece of Dougherty may
have left with him.

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what the person just said was so true, what is cd built on alumni and when father kennedy left so did an amazing part of cd, he will be missed but not forgotten and let it be known he cannot/ will never  ever be replaced!
i just need to  say to all the cd students/alumni/ faculty/ parents mof   cd im a cardinal for  life and extremely proud of it, also the cd b -ball team this year is great keep up the good work  and we can take down neumen and sjp!
-- anonymous

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Should they be allowed to bust chops, within reason?
This is the operative question here? who determines reason? What is busting chops? The league has a code of conduct. Enforce it.
-- anonymous
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I am an Alumni of Cardinal Dougherty High School and a parent of two children who attend the school today. When I am sitting in the stands at a basketball game  I enjoy the comments from the "Looney Bin". I think those kids are pretty funny. I don't think the kids from opposing teams mind too much  either. I have seen a few chuckle on the court when they are heckled. You can't help but laugh at some of their chants. My son played football for Cardinal Dougherty for 4 years and my daughter cheered for the football team for the 4 years previous to that. So for eight years I sat in the stands at CD's football games,  trust me when I say Cardinal Dougherty  takes a lot of abuse. During Basketball season this kids get to give a little  back. We should not take that away from the students. They are proud of their basketball team.  Let's face it a parent from a " suburban high school" will never get it. I would love to see her at a game. I am sure the Looney Bin would have some great chants for her. The last basketball game I went to at Cardinal Dougherty was a little weird. I had a water bottle in my purse. The guard saw the top of it  and told me I was not permitted in the gym. The Looney Bin was extremely quiet. I didn't realize the school put a stop to the chants. Hopefully things will go back to normal at some point. One fight at one game vs. how many great games with no incidents. Let's not get too crazy about the added security.
-- Peg Keeley
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