To this day, my favorite chant at a sporting event is “spoiled rich kids.”
That is mainly because the Montana Tech student section stole the chant from a line I wrote in a column poking fun at the Carroll College fans, who called themselves the “Carroll Crazies,” about 15 years ago.
During the Montana Tech-Carroll College basketball doubleheader in Butte later that week, Carroll fans had the line from the column blown up and taped to their shirts.
The Tech and Carroll fans went back and forth with insulting chants all night. It got pretty nasty by the second half of the men’s game.
When the Carroll fans taunted the Oredigger fans with a vulgar chant, Tech’s “HPER Hooligans” countered with “spoiled rich kids.”
The “Crazies” had no comeback. They were defeated.
Later that season, Bulldog fans chanted the same stolen line at the Maroons during the Butte High-Butte Central basketball games.
The chant in the high school game led to some seriously hurt feelings. It also led to a few meetings and at least one threatened lawsuit by a Butte Central supporter.
To me, the funny thing about the chant directed at BC was it was amazingly inaccurate. As someone who spent two years at both high schools, I can honestly say that I knew way more “rich kids” at Butte High and at least as many “poor kids,” like me, at Butte Central.
Still, that chant went down as the most biting in the history of the Butte High-Butte Central rivalry. Until now.
When it comes to student cheering sections at sporting events, rules go out the window. Hurt feelings and wounded pride are just part of the collateral damage of a student section done right.
Heckling at its finest cannot be ignored by even the best-coached teams. It is part of the home-court advantage.
Good cheering sections can have a huge impact on a game, as was the case with the “Civic Center Psychos” during a great home stretch for the Butte High boys’ basketball team that ran from 2004 through 2008.
Those fans did their homework and approached each game with a heckling plan.
They realized that chanting the name of a sister — and claiming she is better than a boy on the opposing team — has to get into the head of the opposition.
One of the best plays by any student section was made by the Duke fans, or “Dukies” as they call themselves, when North Carolina star Tyler Hasbrough went to the free throw line at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Before he shot, Hansbrough noticed a Duke fan holding up a huge sign with his cell phone number on it. It was his real cell phone number.
Hansbrough admitted to thinking about that sign and the heckling during the free throw, and throughout the rest of the game. When Hansbrough to the locker room after the game, he found that his voice mail was full of messages from Dukies telling him how much he sucked.
That is next-level heckling.
Butte Central’s fans reached that Dukie and Civic Center Psycho level last week when the Maroons played Butte High in basketball at the Butte Civic Center.
The “spoiled rich kids” definitely came to play that night, getting revenge and them some against the Bulldogs.
The Maroons had T-shirts and signs, some of which were confiscated by nervous school officials before the game. They were armed with names of ex-girlfriends and specifics of lost run ins with authority, and they used them with biting precision from the pregame introductions until the final buzzer.
Butte High fans showed up, expecting to ride the usual chants to victory.
The Bulldog faithful definitely had some clever chants. But, for the most part, they appeared to seriously underestimate the fans on the other side of the court.
They did not realize they were bringing a knife to a gunfight.
When it came to the battle of the students two nights before Christmas 2019, the Maroons won in a landslide. A vicious landslide.
In the first quarter of the boys’ game, the BC faithful went for the jugular, chanting “Bozeman Hawks” at the Bulldogs.
Heads jerked and jaws hit the floor as the Maroons took such a deep-cutting, way-too-soon shot at their rival.
The chant was referring to the Class AA state championship football game.
Butte High’s perfect football season was spoiled by a 49-28 loss to Bozeman one month and one day earlier. Asher Croy ran for 333 yards three touchdowns that night.
In case Bulldog fans had forgotten about the superstar running back, BC fans chanted Croy’s name at them, too.
Even if there was a way the Bulldogs could tune out the other heckles, there was no way they could ignore that.
Did the chants and other heckling during the game make a six-point difference in the 72-66 BC win in the boys’ game? Probably not.
But it might have accounted for one or two, and that is very often enough to decide a game when the Bulldogs and Maroons play.
Most of those BC fans, it should be pointed out, were heartbroken the night of the championship football game because the Mining City went colorblind and united behind its Bulldogs during the playoff run.
That did not stop them from going for the win in the city championship game.
The chant was reminiscent of when Daniel-san unnecessarily picked a fight with the Cobra Kai by turning the hose on Johnny Lawrence in the restroom at the Halloween party.
The Maroons were definitely poking the bear in a big, big way.
The difference is that the BC students were trying to give their Maroons a competitive advantage. Daniel-san was just being an idiot.
You have to hand it to the BC fans for having some serious guts. After all, many very large members of the Butte High football team were sitting about 100 feet away.
Most of the big boys from BC were playing in the game.
BC fans felt like they could get away with that cheer because many of them are friends with the players and students at Butte High. Had such a cheer been chanted in the 1970 or 1980s, there probably would have been a riot.
And if they end up not getting away with the heckling, any consequences would be worth a victory in Butte’s biggest game.
To make such a chant requires some serious bravery or the ability to run much faster than Daniel-san.
It should be noted that, unlike the “spoiled rich kids” chant, the taunting of the Bulldogs was in no way stealing any of my lines.
Had I been part of heckling the Bulldogs like that, I would join witness protection.
That might be a nice option for some of those BC fans, too.
— Bill Foley, who was thinking about joining witness protection anyway, writes a column that appears Tuesdays on ButteSports.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/Foles74. Check out his NFL picks every Thursday.