case you missed it last week, the stadium phenomena known as “the Wave”
turned 25 on October 15. What are we supposed to do about it if we
happen to see one, wave? Yeah, that’s it. If you see one happening and
you want to wish it a happy 25th, just give it a “howdy.” Better yet,
just so it knows you’re referring to it, add a “hang ten.”
I think it’s a little past it’s peak, maybe long in
the tooth, but who knows how to measure
longevity of stadium gestures. Is it in dog years? Maybe in Aggie
years, since they have this “swaying fans” 12th Man gig all tied up.
We’re thinking enough of the wave, already. Let’s challenge the
cheering groups and the spirit sections to come up with something new.
Wave history? Thought you’d never ask. It was
invented by professional cheerleader George “Krazy George” Henderson in
1981 during a A’s - Yankees game at Oakland Coliseum and still stands
as the only patent submittal under the name “Krazy.” The wave
became a global phenomenon in August of 1984 when a crowd of 84,000 at
Stanford Stadium did it during the Olympic soccer match between Brazil
and Italy. The University of Michigan boasts of the largest wave crowds
at 110,000 where they do the counter-clockwise, the slow motion and
then two waves going counter-rotational. Too much, if you ask us. And
not only us, but professors of Sports Spectating (honest to God, there
are such classes) say we’ve moved on. Too hip for the wave, us modern
sports fans we.
Here’s another little tidbit: Krazy George, the
professional cheerleader/inventor is 62- years-old, and still leading
cheers. He was a spry young sis-boom-baa-er of only 37 when he gave
birth to the wave. Even though we think it’s time for the wave to wave
bye-bye, we don’t belittle or begrudge Krazy George. He is one of the
more well known professional cheerleaders and, for
$ 500 to $ 1000 per game, can still whip a crowd into a frenzy. He can
also whip up a corporate meeting into a froth bath but for much more
moolah. Check out his very professional website: www.krazygeorge.com and you’ll
see a dedicated but crazy looking guy.
So what replaces the wave, in this day of the
sophisticated fan, the fan too blasé to rise up and swing their
arms upward? We’re thinking… ummm, maybe, er… The Silliman. It only
takes twenty-five to thirty people in a stadium to start a mass
movement. Seriously, we are quoting scientists who studied the wave in
Germany. Scientists at Dresden
Technology who spent money studying the wave?? Scientists who
used pacemakers and films to determine the inertia and velocity of the
wave? Scientists who constructed mathematical models of the…?
Excuse me, I have a fist to gnaw off.
Forgive me. Try typing one-handed, and then using a
bloody stump for punctuation, but back to our suggestion – the
Silliman. The cheerleaders down on the field start it off. They jump
up… of course they’re already up so it’s not so easy to demonstrate…
but then they bump hips left to right and as they bump raise their left
elbow up, tap their right heel on the ground, turning their heads to
the right gazing at the neck of the person to your right. Try it.
You’ll find it quite invigorating. Also, as you’re doing this, you
should yell out “Silliman.” That will let your team know you’re really
I hope Mr. Henderson doesn’t take this personally.
Not saying I’m afraid but I’ve seen his wild eyes. They are not your
ordinary wild eyes. They’re crazy wild eyes. Make that “Krazy” wild