It is time for a change within the Block Party

I know you usually don’t see my posts until the weekend, but after the events at last night’s volleyball game, along with the general progression of the Block Party, and a certain Facebook status this morning, I had to say something. If you have been to a volleyball game recently, you know the Block Party is just as loud as the Paint Crew and gives Purdue a great home court advantage. Before I came to Purdue, I liked volleyball, but not that much to want to go to every match and yell my heart out. In my first Purdue Volleyball game in 2009 against Michigan State, I fell in love with it. Partly because of the team’s performance (they won 3-1), but mostly because I loved the way the Block Party was always cheering, having unique cheers for each player, and really making an impact on the game (a nice change of pace compared to the other student section Saturday afternoons in the Fall). I have been regularly attending volleyball games since then and I have been a full member of the Block Party for the last 2 years.

Fast forward to 2011; last year, the Block Party was great, but many of the officers were lost to graduation. This brought in a new set of officers. For the first couple of games, cheers were a bit off, timing was not great, but I forgave them because it was their first couple of games. New cheers came up that I liked, like "Be afraid…be very afraid!" when Tiffany Fisher serves, but very annoying ones also arose, like the "whooooop!" whenever Carly Cramer (C^2) scored thanks to the former "OX Box" (which we haven't heard lately due to her injury).

Last week, I tweeted at the Paint Crew that they should donate the extra gloves from the Ohio State game to the Block Party for the big games against Penn State and Ohio State last weekend. It was going to happen; however, egos within the Block Party officers got in the way and the Block Party did not want to be copying the Paint Crew because they thought they were better. A whole twitter fight occurred (that I missed of course) and basically led to the Paint Crew and Block Party being at a standstill and on the verge of just killing each other. Personally, I would have loved to have the gloves at the games last week, as it would have made the atmosphere even better at these huge games. It was just disappointing to see egos get in the way and prevent that from happening. We all know what happened against Penn State last week, where Purdue was flat in the 3rd and 4th sets. This of course led to a quieter Block Party and an overall quiet crowd. Of course, I would have loved for the Block Party to be louder, but you can’t expect anybody to get excited when their team is playing flat.

Fast forward to last night and the match against Indiana; as I said in my last update, IU is dead last in the Big Ten and has yet to win a B1G game, with their closest match being at OMHR Iowa where they lost 2-3. I thought we would dominate this match and sweep the lowly Loosiers in a quick match so I could get back to my atmospheric thermodynamics homework. In the first set, we dominated, just like what I was expecting, but then Purdue came out flat in the 2nd set that led to a 32-30 lose, barely won the 3rd set 25-23, lost the 4th set 23-25, and then won the 5th and final set 15-6. I will have more on the actual performance in my weekly update this weekend. Of course, this led to a bit of a quieter Block Party, but overall I thought the Block Party stayed loud throughout most of the match. The Block Party officers didn’t think the same, as a certain someone who I will not name kept turning around when we lost a point saying we had to get louder, as if the Block Party was the reason we were losing. To make matters worse, this was the Block Party’s Facebook status this morning (that was taken down, but not in time:(

Grant is REALLY DISAPPOINTED IN THE BLOCK PARTY TONIGHT!!!! Randomly throughout the game everyone would get really quiet while cheering and or just stop cheering at all! This is why it took 5 sets to be IU tonight. Also, if IU sucked so much why didnt we beat them in 3 hmmm! So lets STAY CLASSY and not be like the students of U of I, Michigan or Ohio State. IF you have a problem please feel free to say something to me!

Yeah, I do have a problem. I thought what the officers said last night and what was posted this morning is pure bullshit. It is NOT the Block Party’s fault that the volleyball team committed 31 attack errors and 8 service errors. It is NOT the Block Party’s fault that the team was not able to control their digs. It is NOT the Block Party’s fault that Purdue needed 5 sets to beat a horrible IU team. You know whose fault it is? The actual team itself, and I think Coach Shondell would agree with me. As much as I love the volleyball team, it is their own fault for their poor performance throughout the month of October. Don’t ever, Ever, EVER blame the fans for something they cannot control when they are coming and supporting the team. Remember, 2 years ago we were lucky to even get half of the student section filled up, and this year every game has been filled to the top (with the exception of the 10am games), so be grateful for that. Can we be louder? Of course, but yelling at us to be louder and blaming US for the main reason why Purdue is losing is bullshit and childish. If you want us to be louder, stop taking up the whole front row and spread yourselves around. There are better ways of encouraging us to be louder as well, but yelling at the members only makes things worse.

Also, STOP SPEEDING UP THE CHEERS! It’s "Boiler Up! *clap clap* Boiler Up! *clap clap*" Not "Blurp! *clapclap* Blurp! *clapclap*" My friends and I are going to slow it down because that’s how the cheer is supposed to be. Same thing goes for the Paint Crew and the disorganized mess we call the "Ross-Ade Brigade", don’t speed up the cheers! I got yelled at by the Block Party officers because everyone around me was chanting at the normal pace. But since I have a loud voice, probably louder than the officers themselves, I got picked out and possibly almost kicked out (I couldn’t hear what they yelled at me for, I just had a Brick Tamland moment and thought "LOUD NOISES!"). One thing my friends and I also noticed, a Block Party officer himself (I am not using names here) who kept yelling at us to be louder and blaming us for Purdue losing never sang Hail Purdue. Not once, every time he was just texting; I wonder if he even knows the words.

To me, this is pathetic. I know the all the words to Hail Purdue and For the Honor of Old Purdue, yet I am the one getting yelled at for slowing down cheers to a normal pace and not being loud enough? Not to mention, I’ve heard this officer yell personal insults to the individual opposing volleyball players at times when they serve. Whether they are in good taste or not is beyond my knowledge, it is tough to tell, but don’t get mad at us when we start chanting "IU Sucks" when you don’t even sing the fight song.

I am tired of the current leadership within the Block Party. I hope this blog entry will get them to change for the rest of the season. I am willing to take a leadership position next season to see that this doesn’t happen again and so we don’t see overinflated egos ruin a great student section.

***Update*** I have talked with some of the Block Party officers and they have appreciated what has been said by us. They want to see the Block Party improve as well, but they also want our input. They are welcoming us to contact them with any good cheers/ideas you have. Please also note that not all of the officers were involved in this article, so please don't assume they are all responsible, they are good people too. As for being yelled at for the "Boiler Up" slow chant, I have received a formal apology and I have apologized that it was not a good time to even do that with the current situation of the game and the patience of the Block Party as a whole at that time.

It is good to know that our complaints are not falling on deaf ears and that we can be just as involved as the officers in the Block Party. Let's use this opportunity to make the Block Party the best student section in the country.

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