The Blue Beard Army is a group of fans in the student section at Prudential Center. They show their dedication to Pirate sports teams in a variety of ways. Whether it be making signs to display at games or organizing activities within the student section, they aim to get students more involved in games.
Matthew LeMoine, a senior finance major and co-president of the Blue Beard Army, said that the group’s mission is to create a “home field advantage” for SHU teams by providing an enjoyable experience for them and fans alike.
“In years past, we have focused on basketball a lot, but this year especially we are emphasizing going to as many games for every sport as possible,” he said. “We want to create a home field advantage for all of our teams.”
Hope DeVito, a senior broadcasting major and secretary of Blue Beard Army talked about the background of the group and what the members hope to accomplish at sports events. She explained that students developed this club in January 2014 because they thought it would be helpful to student morale if the student section had a club, a way of bringing them all together.
Tim Best, a senior journalism major and co-president of Blue Beard Army, said the group not only supports all the teams at Seton Hall, but also makes sure that students have an interactive experience beyond just watching the games.
“There’s a multitude of special things that we have done during basketball games specifically,” Best said.
In particular, he mentioned how all of the students in the students’ section coordinated their own “Mannequin Challenge” during halftime at the home opener last year.
“We are also coordinating a pair of tailgates during soccer season and, as for what we have planned for basketball season to increase student engagement, let’s just say that it’ll be a surprise,” he said.
The group also tries to support the teams by travelling to away games close to campus. Regardless of where they travel, Best said the group has a strategy for coming up with chants and heckles against rival teams.
“We traditionally draft up chant sheets that provide a guide for what to chant in specific situations,” he said. “On the top of that sheet is the roster of our opponent that night so that you know exactly who to heckle to get inside their heads during the game.”
As far as teaching the newcomers the traditional chants, the Blue Beard Army is planning an event to help them learn for the games. They will also be encouraged to wear their Blue Beard Army shirts that all returning members wear.
They do this to be more identifiable to fellow pirate supporters as well as the opposing team and their supporters.
For DeVito, LeMoine and Best, joining the Blue Beard Army was about getting more involved on campus and having an outlet for their school spirit.
“I joined because I love the passion that this group has for its school and I was excited to have the chance to build up the pride throughout the school and in the area,” DeVito said.
Rhania Kamel can be reached at email@example.com.