Student Athlete Column: Rose Thrill


Fan supports means a lot to us athletes. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

On the track, there’s almost no better feeling than hearing your supporters screaming your name. Teammates, family members, coaches all blur into one cheer of excitement when you’re hurtling down that final straightaway. There is one greater feeling, however, and it’s being that person screaming on the sidelines. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made an absolute fool of myself screaming at my friends finishing their races. That’s why Rose Thrill excites me so much.

In my four years here, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve gradually made my way toward the front of the student section. One second the guys are ripping their shirts off to reveal some sort of word (last week was “Urgonomics”), the next we’re booing the away team’s fans just trying to find their seats. I can’t help but pity the water boys trying to do their jobs with a mob of Fordham students just screaming at them. Number 11 on Saint Bonaventure’s team may never show his face in the Bronx again.
There’s something really sentimental about the mania. A significant relationship has developed between the team and the fans. I’ve never seen anything like it. The crowd shouts “Reapa” every time Will Richardson touches the ball. MVP chants fill the Hill when DQ makes a clutch shot. Coach Urgo will even make a gesture to the fan section, sending everyone into an uproar to pump up the players as the clock winds down. At the end of each win, the players sprint over the student section with some of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen. Everyone’s hopping and screaming in unison, becoming one “Ramily” with the victory.

To put it simply, Fordham students are excited about sports. Really excited. And the athletes deserve it.

When I first arrived at Fordham, I was admittedly bummed about a lack of school spirit for Fordham sports in particular. I’m used to people not showing up for track meets — who wants to spend 10 hours sitting in the hot sun for a sport they don’t necessarily understand? — but the empty bleachers at the football and basketball games depressed me. I only remember one game with some sort of crowd — it was a women’s basketball game against Notre Dame, but even that wasn’t a full house. From the athlete’s perspective, it helps so much to have positive reinforcement practically shouted in your ear. Sure, going to a game expecting to lose wasn’t fun. But if this year proves anything, the fans’ presence pumps up the court.

Post-pandemic gave me hope, with Kyle Neptune ushering in a “new era” of Fordham hoops with Late Night on the Hill and A$AP Ferg concert. Gone were the days of a losing record and no hopes at an Atlantic 10 tournament. But when Neptune shipped off to Villanova, it felt like a punch to the gut. Little did we know that someone even better waited in the wings. Urgo has absolutely turned this program around, and it’s gotten the campus passionate about Fordham basketball. The guy is already a Fordham legend. As of writing this article, we’re at a 21-6 record, the best in decades.

What’s not to love? Fordham MBB’s Cinderella story is enticing as they approach the A-10 tournament, and it’s gotten people out to the games. I don’t see this excitement going away anytime soon.

One of my hopes for Rose Thrill? It heads outside this spring for sports like Baseball, softball, tennis and us trackies (pop out for Mets! It’s 20 minutes away!) plan to take the field in just a few weeks. Additionally, Fordham Softball is looking to keep the A-10 title in their hands this year — you don’t want to miss that! The support means the world to all athletes. I hope that this mania slowly, but surely, spreads to all of the sports. The athletes work so hard for everything they do, and it means the world to be recognized by fans. So keep making those signs!