on Sports
“THE WAVE” AT 25 – STILL HAPPENING? by Stan Silliman


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
"The Wave" at 25 - Still Happening?

        In 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.
“THE WAVE” AT 25 – STILL HAPPENING? by Stan Silliman
    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: 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 behind them.
    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 eyes.

Silliman On Sports
2405 Wilcox Drive
Norman, OK  73069

Phone #: 405-360-4800
Comments or Suggestions: Email

Copyright © 2003-2006   Silliman On Sports    All Rights Reserved
 Website by Alliance Team