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Girmindl's Ghost

A diary of Shaker High School's 2005-2006 basketball season, a retelling of Shaker's fabled 1979-1980 season, and general commentary on high school hoops, updated daily...


"I like sitting in the back row. I found that sitting against the wall is just easier on your back." -Dean Smith, on the comfort of the H-gym bleachers

Blowouts and Crowds

On the subject of blowouts and crowd noise: Friday night's thrashing of Mohon got me thinking about the 1979-80 team and crowd noise. The stories you alway here about the '79-80 (and '78-79) team involve the packed gyms and huge crowds that watched them play, both in the playoffs and during the regular season. But I wonder how into it a crowd can get when the game is routinely over at halftime?

The answer on Friday night was "not very." The score at the half was 39-20, and it was over long before that. And while the crowd in the second half definitely watched and definitely applauded politely, they were never really into the game the way you'd be into a close game. And that's fine. You can't be on the edge of your seat when the team is up 25. And you certainly can't start group chants. That's just gravedancing.

But that's the point. Shaker was usually up by more than 19 points at halftime in '79-80. I wonder if the crowds shifted gears like we did Friday night, and simply waited for Sam or Tim to drop a huge dunk or for the bench players to show off some nice moves. That's how it was on Friday, and while it was refreshing, it certainly felt weird. It must have been very strange for the fans to be in that position night after night.
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