Wednesday January 31, 2018

Fearless Leader

I was lucky enough to sit down with the face of the Red Scare student section, the pilot and captain, John Brown. Although much of his time is spent trolling opposing teams, screaming at the tops of his lungs, and rooting on his Flyers relentlessly, John took the time to answer some questions in this exclusive interview.

 

CK= Corey Kuminecz

JB= John Brown

 

CK: Please provide a brief introduction of yourself and how you came to be involved with Red Scare.

 

JB: My name is John Brown and I’m a senior Sports Management student from Cincinnatti, OH. I’ve always been a “school spirit guy” for as long as I can remember, so Red Scare was an obvious fit for me at UD. Freshman year I began as a community service chair before taking over as winter atmosphere coordinator.

 

CK: How did you work your way into our fearless leader, the pilot?

 

JB: (laughs) So, I knew the pilot before me and he was the one I interviewed with to get onto the Red Scare board. He was a Sports Management major and I also worked with him at Campus Recreation, so he quickly became a mentor for me. He then passed on the pilot down to me.

 

CK: It was his call, who gets to be the next pilot?

 

JB: It’s kind of a tradition for the current pilot to choose the next one.

 

CK: No way, do you know who you are going to pick?

 

JB: I do not yet, it’ll be an interesting next couple of months to weed through all of the applicants. (giggles)

 

CK: So what does a typical game day look-like for the pilot?

 

JB: So I typically get to the arena about two hours before tipoff. I help set things up, maybe with any giveaways we might have that game. We’ll help (UD) athletics help set anything up. Most of the time we’ll grab all the Fat Heads from storage.

 

CK: You keep those over there?

 

JB: Yeah.

 

CK: Oh, that actually makes a lot of sense.

 

JB: (laughs) Yeah, a lot less to carry around. Then we might help pass out tickets or greet everyone as they come in. The doors open an hour before tipoff, and the rest you see on TV.

 

CK: Can you briefly describe what your experience has been in the Red Scare student section?

 

JB: Oh yeah, it’s been awesome. It’s been a lot of fun. My high school team actually played at UD arena my senior year and so that was my first experience at UD arena. Coming back, being apart of the student section, was a very cool “full circle” kind of thing, being apart of the Red Scare board, and… when the games get intense and all 13,500 people are on their feet it’s just an absolutely…it’s…you can’t really explain it. It’s unbelievable. The windows in the place seem like they are going to blow out.

 

CK: What sets apart the Red Scare student section from the other irrelevant student sections in the country?

 

JB: It’s the passion of not only the students, but also the whole city of Dayton. The entire city of Dayton loves their Flyer basketball, so we have more than just however many students at the game going nuts with us. Aside from that, just the students themselves, the passion that all the students bring… this season isn’t going as what we usually see for UD seasons, but we’re still getting students there screaming their heads off at exciting finishes to the games. The loyalty and the passion is what sets it apart.

 

CK: If you had to pick one moment, what would be your favorite moment of your experience as the pilot? Which is totally putting you on the spot.

 

JB: No, no, I like it. I would have to say senior night last year versus VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University), the regular season A10 championship was on the line.

 

CK: That was a big game. Was that…

 

JB: The first night of spring break.

 

CK: Yes, that’s right.

 

JB: So you would think because it was the first night of spring break that none of the students would be at the game, but we had a sellout crowd with the students. That game went to overtime and we pulled it off in the end and the players celebrated with us in the stands. It was an awesome experience going out on the court and watching the seniors cut down the nets and it was a really fun experience. The place was really wild, it was unbelievable.

 

CK: Being in the front of the student section, have you ever gotten in the head of a player from another team?

 

JB: Yeah, I think that’s probably the most fun I have. As fun as it is cheering on the Flyers, it’s also fun chirping the (opposing) bench players, chirping the head coach. Actually when we played Auburn this year, Bruce Pearl is their head coach and he’s known to be a little fiery. We were yelling at him the entire time, telling him to zip up his zipper because it was unzipped! He was totally flustered and it was awesome.

 

CK: Oh my.

 

JB: And there’s always bench players who will look over at us after their team makes a big play, so figuring out their name and making sure they know we are here too and having some fun with it.. it’s a good time.

 

CK: On a scale of 1-10, how good are your chirp skills?

 

JB: I think they’ve grown a lot. They’ve grown a lot since I’ve come here.

 

CK: Really?

 

JB: I don’t know, I’d give myself a solid 8.6. I focus on it a lot, you know? I think most games I can get some reactions out of either some assistant coachers or players or the occasional technical foul from the head coach. (smiling) It’s a good time.

 

CK: Finally, do you have any advice for UD pilots of the future?

 

JB: My only advice is to have fun with it. If you’re not having fun with it then you are doing something wrong and taking yourself too seriously. Just cut back, put on that hat with pride, and just have fun.

 

CK: Well, hey that’s all I got. Thanks for sitting down with me, Captain.

 

JB: Awesome, no problem! Go Flyers! 

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