Kevin HagstromHaving endured 27 roars by the Nittany Lions for every Penn State first down during last Saturday’s football game, I began sifting through the worst chants or in-game sound bites in sports. One of the first that popped up is close to home: “First-and-10 Wisconsin.” As mind-numbing as repeating exactly what the PA announcer said is, at least it’s well-known. The chant I’m about to throw out on a whim, however, makes sense to no more than a handful of people. Plus, it’s a good thing that it doesn’t go down on the field. We’re not talking about practice; we’re talking about the School of Practical Science of Toronto University’s chant. Never heard of it? Well, duh. No one else has either, which is why the chant is so ridiculous — “Who are we? Can’t you guess? We are from the S.P.S.!”Now who in his right mind comes up with a chant that means little without explanation? And no, I can’t guess.The School of Practical Science may be good at math and applied sciences but by golly, it sure doesn’t know how to communicate ideas in a clear and concise manner; it’s asking for trouble by formulating the chant into several questions followed by a vague acronym. It’s like saying to Michigan running back Mike Hart after talking to him once, “Remember me? I’m Kevin.” He isn’t going to know what’s going on or who I am. Nor will he care. “Why have a cheer? It doesn’t make sense. Can you believe it? S.P.S. is quite dense.”Ben VoelkelIn the vast world of sports arenas, certain characteristics and traditions stand out and eventually become synonymous with the team and arena. What would an Oakland Raiders game be without the Black Hole or a Detroit Red Wings game without octopi on the ice after a hat trick?The same goes for in-game sound bites and chants. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Raymond James Stadium is known for the pirate ship that fires a cannon after the home team scores a touchdown. What would a Minnesota Vikings game at the Metrodome be without the god-awful, obnoxious Viking horn noise? A little easier on the ears possibly, but it would still be missing that something. And even a little closer to home, a Badger football Saturday without “Eat shit, fuck you” echoing off the walls of Kellner Hall and Camp Randall’s upper deck would mean an unusual PG-13 atmosphere.But just because it is tradition, doesn’t mean it’s good. As bad as the Vikings horn is, that pales in comparison to the worst chant at a sports event.That distinction goes to DE-TROIT BASKET-BALL.No, caps lock didn’t stick. The chant, a creation of Pistons’ public address announcer John Mason, might be OK if it wasn’t repeated seemingly every time the Pistons take control of the ball. Opposing team’s center dribbles the ball off his foot and out of bounds one minute into the game: DE-TROIT BASKET-BALL. Chauncy Billups gets swatted, but the ball goes out of bounds, and the Pistons keep it: DE-TROIT BASKET-BALL. The home team gets the ball to start the third quarter: DE-TROIT BASKET-BALL. It’s not just the repetition that makes it worst, but the painful, arrogant tone in which it’s done. DE-TROIT BASKET-BALL. COU-NT I-T!
FRISCO, Texas – The 2019 Southland Conference Cross Country Championships are set to begin Friday, Nov. 1 at Beaverfork Lake Park in Conway, Ark. Central Arkansas will serve as the host institution for the women’s 6k event at 8:15 a.m. CT, followed by the men’s 8k race at 9:15 a.m.Stephen F. Austin enters the women’s meet as the frontrunner, currently ranked sixth in the latest South Central Regional poll. The Ladyjacks took third-place honors at the 2018 conference meet but will look to ride the momentum of their four regular-season races this season.Abilene Christian jumped two spots to occupy the ninth-place position in the latest women’s regional poll. Junior Briahna Gerlach has led the ACU women in all four of their regular-season meets, capturing three top-20 performances and one individual race title along the way.The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women’s squad looks to defend its 2018 championship as it enters the race ranked 12th in the South Central region. The Islanders will look to Valentina Campos for race experience as the junior led the team in the final regular-season race with a 10th-place individual finish at the Arturo Barrios Invitational (Oct. 19). A&M-Corpus Christi has logged top-five team finishes in three of its four meets throughout the 2019 campaign.McNeese rounds out the women’s regionally ranked squads as the region’s No. 15 team heading the Southland Championship. The Cowgirls have earned a pair of top-five team finishes throughout the season and will look to contend for their third team title in program history.On the men’s side, four teams enter Friday’s festivities with a regionally-ranked status. Lamar leads the way as the South Central’s No. 4 team, while No. 12 Abilene Christian, No. 14 McNeese and No. 15 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi look to challenge for the Southland title. However, the path to the 2019 trophy runs through reigning champion Central Arkansas, who will have the opportunity to repeat on home soil.Lamar will look to Jordan Rowe to set the pace as the senior recorded top-10 finishes in each of his three races this season, including an individual title at the season-opening Rice Invitational (Sept. 13). The Cardinals have captured a five of the last six team and individual championships at the conference meet.Abilene Christian aims for its first Southland title since rejoining the conference in the 2013 season. The Wildcats are primed for a the 8k event after a 16th-place team finish at the Arturo Barrios Invitational, besting four other Southland conference foes. Kevin Kipkosgei led the ACU squad with an 18th-place finish in his most recent outing and was named Athlete of the Week for his troubles.The Cowboys tied a bow on the 2019 regular season, earning top-three team finishes in three of their four races. Junior Daniel Saina captured a pair of Southland Athlete of the Week honors after leading the McNeese squad in a trio of appearances.Texas A&M-Corpus Christi jumped into the latest regional polls after concluding the season with an 18th-place showing at the Arturo Barrios Invite. Tristan Stellmach and Isaac Vargas have each led the Islanders in two races and have combined for four top-five individual finishes.For athletes who qualify, the 2019 NCAA South Central Regional qualifying race will take place at the Agri-Park on Friday, Nov. 15 in Fayetteville, Ark., hosted by Arkansas. The 2019 NCAA Cross Country Championships will take place at LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind., Saturday, Nov. 23.