Slaw Says: Announcer mistakenly identifies Central Michigan volleyball fans as best in MAC

Everyone knows what it is like to get a song stuck in their head for a whole day. Sometimes it can be good. Most of the time it seems to be bad. It is like having a popcorn kernel stapled to the roof of your mouth.

This last Saturday, I got to experience something much like this phenomenon while I was watching the Ball State women's volleyball team play Central Michigan.

After the Cardinals had completed their three-game shellacking of the Chippewas, Central Michigan's announcer said something that pierced my ears like a rusty fish hook.

"Thanks for coming to Rose Arena, home of the best fans in the Mid-American Conference."

At first, I thought I had slipped into some other dimension where up was down, black was white and best certainly did not mean greatest. I quickly recovered and realized that I had indeed heard him right. That is when I got really confused.

This past weekend, the Ball State women's volleyball team traveled to Bowling Green and Central Michigan. From what I experienced, neither of these school's fans can hold a match stick of school spirit up against Ball State's bonfire when it comes to women's volleyball.

Let's start with the numbers. At the Bowling Green match on Friday night, there were 214 people in the stands. For the CMU match the following night, the crowd was 264. Keep in mind that some of the fans at both those locations were Cardinals backers. In contrast, Cardinal volleyball matches in Worthen Arena average 1,125 spectators, which is currently 25th in the nation.


That brings me to my next point. At volleyball matches I have been to, it is customary for when the home team scores for the announcer and the crowd to enthusiastically shout POINT! NAME OF HOME SCHOOL!

The few Falcons on Friday struggled mightily with this concept and tried to cover up their cheering short comings with a cowbell. I've said it before and I will say it again: A cowbell is not a replacement for real spirit.

Central Michigan did not fair much better with this even though their announcer explained the concept before the match began. Fans were screaming "Chippewas" at all kinds of inappropriate times, which raises the question, when is an appropriate time to scream out "Chippewas"? I can't think of any.

Ball State has mastered the whole cheering thing. Not only do they nail the point thing, but they also have a myriad of other chants and slams that they pull out from throughout the match. Say it with me now...


Cardinal fans also seem to have a much higher volleyball I.Q. than some of the other fans I've encountered. Many fans will obviously know their home team, but a good number of Ball State fans know their team, the opposing team and the officials. Armed with this information, they turn Worthen Arena into a version of Hell for visiting teams that even Dante would admire. Here we go again...


All of these things considered, it is really no wonder that Ball State has won 48 consecutive home matches against MAC opponents. In fact, the only MAC team to win in Muncie since 1992 has been Miami. Over that stretch, the Cardinals are 98-4 in MAC matches in Worthen Arena. That's a .961 winning percentage, in case you were curious. One more time...


So I'm sorry Mr. Central Michigan announcer, you are wrong. Rose Arena in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. is not the home of the MAC's best fans. They're home is Worthen Arena and it is in Muncie.

Write to Cole at


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