Background: The informant is a 22 year old male currently living in San Luis Obispo, California. He attended CalPoly-SLO and is currently working as a manager for a boy and girls volleyball club. He played volleyball and basketball throughout high school, and played and coached volleyball while in college. His story is from his time in college.
Context: The context was the informant was, after a sporting event, the informant was reminded of his time in college when he and his friends started a cheer. He performed the cheer.
WC: In college, since I was on the club volleyball team and was a coach for the girl’s team, I would always attend the volleyball matches whenever they were at home. So, my friends and I thought it would be funny to start a cheer, or a chant, at the games, as we knew all the players.
Me: What was the cheer?
WC: Every time, someone got a block, we would say “booboo” and then clap twice. [does it]
Me: Was there significance behind it?
WC: Uh, not really, it was more to show the girls that we were there and we were supporting them. I mean, cheers in sports are really just to build morale and boost the team’s spirit so that was all that we were trying to do.
Me: What happened to the chant?
WC: Actually, since we did it at every D1 game, the other people around us started to pick it up. And then, the girls on the team started to do it after every block. So, what started as just our little firendgroup chant became a CalPoly-wide thing.
Informant: He was clearly very happy with the chant becoming a sports-wide occurrence at his school, especially that the girl’s themselves started using it. His intention was simply to have a morale boosting chant, but it did much more than that.
Mine: Cheers have long been used in sports in order to reveal a certain community of people. Typically, cheers are created in groups and spread through word of mouth, at least initially. People spend time in order to create someone that will stand out and boost morale. While initially it was simply something between friends, it became a much bigger thing, spreading to other fans and the players themselves. It demonstrates that folklore starts from the people, no matter who they are, and that anyone can contribute to the culture of the group they are in. The main form of communication in sports is cheering from the sidelines, and anyone should be able to contribute to that. There doesn’t need to always be people leading the cheers; instead, the cheers can start on their own.