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UTSA's (Lack Of) Chants & Cheers

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UTSA's lack of structured school spirit is the biggest issue - and saddest attribute - of the Roadrunner fan base. Here is a proposition to expand the arsenal with cheers that truly fit the school.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

As UTSA enters its sixth season of football and 36th year of Division I athletics, there is still a gaping hole in fans' cohesive school spirit and it's rather embarrassing.

There are no forms of standardized chants and cheers in UTSA's home bleachers, official or unofficial.  The only measly chant the Roadrunners have isn't even really a chant - it's a battle cry.  And at times it can sound more like a cry for help.

Those that have attended any UTSA event know exactly what I'm talking about: the question-and-answer style of howling the school's letters from one or two boisterous fans to the rest of the crowd.  It essentially goes like this:

One or two rowdy fans shout, "U-T?!?!"
And everyone else responds with "S-A!!"

And it repeats over and over and over again.  Simple but effective, and fun to do.  Yet, vastly overplayed.

Though it's an excellent war cry, by the time the third quarter rolls around it's simply annoying, with most people looking at the guy initiating it like he's an idiot.  But that's only because, and I can't emphasize this enough, it's literally the school's only chant.  One go around after first downs and other big plays is awesome, don't get me wrong, but when it's the only thing being shouted throughout the duration of the game it gets pretty old, needless to say.

Slowly but surely, the volume of the responding "S-A!" diminishes to a sad form of, "we're over it."

It's about time the Roadrunner Faithful added some weaponry to the arsenal, and in the words of Frank Wilson, it's going to take "all hands on deck" to get it done; from the fans to the marching band and cheerleaders to the athletics department and all of the folks who work the entertainment.  Instead of allowing the beloved cheer to get played out, fans should establish some other things to shout.  New coach, new season, new spirit.

A good starting point would be the fight song.  Nobody outside of the marching band knows the words to the school's fight song.  Hell, people don't even know when they're supposed to say "U-T-S-A!"

The band plays an entire sequence of the fight song and a"Go Runners" cadence specifically for fans to cheer along to, but only a fraction of people know how it goes.  This is an easy fix - post the words on the jumbotron and have the PA announcer encourage the crowd to sing along.  It's only played after a score, and everyone loves rejoicing points.  The question-and-answer chant can then follow without losing any luster.

On that note, the lyrics to the Alma Mater should be also posted on the jumbotron when the band plays it after the game. It would be a nice tradition to have everyone sing along, win or lose.  Not to mention it's a beautiful composition.

On to fan-initiated chants.

Once upon a time, there was a short-lived Olé-style chant that was downright ferocious.  Instead of the normal "olé/ olé olé olé/ olé/ olé," fans chanted "S-A/ S-A S-A S-A/ U-T/ S-A."  That's the kind of chant that can reach a deafening volume when an entire bleacher does it together, and it coincides with San Antonio's culture.  A lot of fans were fond of it but it never quite stuck.

Also, a "Birds Up!" chant is extremely necessary.  It's the university's favorite hashtag - for administrators and fans alike.  It can be as simple as a slow, low, "birds up, birds up," that accelerates and amplifies into a wall of noise.  And of course, a fist-pumping Roadrunner hand with every syllable.  Now that would be a kick-ass kickoff chant.

Maybe throw in a foot stomp along with the fist pump, too.  Then we would really be in business.

There should also be a Roadrunners chant that is divided among the stadium.  One half screams "Road!" and the other side responds with "Runners!"  Rowdy and the cheerleaders can direct it with signs and finger pointing.  It should be drawn out and repeated ad nauseam.

Again, with the help of the jumbotron, these chants can easily become traditions and crowd staples.

As far as the generic chants go, why even do them?  The Seven Nation Army chant "ohhh/ oh ohh ohh/ ohhhh/ ohhhh" is fun and all, but the Miami Heat popularized it during their years tangling with the Spurs in the NBA Finals. On that ground alone it should be abolished from the city of San Antonio in every form.

As for "Let's Go Runners", every single team on the planet uses that chant.  It's so blah.  Why not change the verbiage to "Come And Take It" while keeping the same rhythm?  That would be a hit with fans, putting a homer touch on a classic chant that no other team would be similar to.  It could bring on the boom like no other.

UTSA flies the "Come and Take It" flag proudly, so it should be adopted as the team's true motto and cheer.  It can only be used when leading, however.  Otherwise use "SA Olé" or "Birds Up!"

It's time to schedule yell practices and get fans on board with a new regime.  The Spring Game would be a great place to start.  This is an S.O.S. to all student organizations, alumni organizations, tailgaters, students, university departments, and fans.

It's going to take a tremendous group effort and some serious new jumbotron graphics, but it can needs to be done.  Fans should be in full force by the September 3rd season opener.  Time for the Alamodome to thunder like a hail storm.

Then, let the trickle-down effect run its course through the Convocation Center and Roadrunner Field to spread through all of UTSA Athletics.

Submit any other ideas to me via Twitter.