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Austin Hilliker, Sports Editor

Pacific Lutheran University has always been known for its academically rigorous and challenging courses. The small private liberal arts university has even been a platform for Norwegian heritage to flourish. But people tend to forget one thing. Athletics.

Lute athletics are top notch in the conference. Football, soccer, golf, tennis, whatever it is, PLU always seems to be in the conversation for some of the best sports teams of the past, present and even the future.

But what makes us so good in all these different sports? Hard work, dedication and pride? Most likely. All of those and more could be added into the equation for a successful sports team. But again, people tend to forget a very important aspect. Fan support.

In order to be a great Lute fan, you must know the basics. Luckily, I’m here to help.

Rule #1: Understand the sport

First things first, you need to understand exactly what you’re watching.

Regarding this rule, let’s take a look at softball as an example.

There are seven innings in softball, not nine like Major League Baseball. Don’t be the person that asks, “What about the last couple innings?”because you will be shunned from the fans sitting around you.

You also need to know that there are no “lead-offs” in softball. Again, comparing this to the MLB where lead-offs are allowed, this isn’t the case in college softball.

An over-arching rule that is highly encouraged includes watching sports highlights on YouTube, in addition to reading sports articles in magianzes and newspapers. If you can grasp on to this simple rule, you’ll be in good shape.

Rule #2: Talk about it

When in doubt, talk it out.

If you want to feel smart about sports, then you should talk about them to your friends. The more you talk about the sport itself, the more prepared you will be when it’s time for game day.

For this rule, let’s use basketball as an example.

Sports fans have a ridiculous obsession regarding statistics. When talking about basketball, it would be wise to bring up rather unusual stats such as backcourt defense, second chance points and even fast break points.

Just mentioning these three categories will make you seem more knowledgeable about basketball without taking the time to research the sport itself.

Once you talk about this kind of stuff, you’ll impress quite a few people.

Rule #3: Recognize the Athletes

Athletes love it when they get a pat on the back.

When you walk past a PLU athlete, recognize them for their performance.

Baseball fits rather well for this rule.

Let’s take senior pitcher A.J. Konopaski for example. This pre-season All-American pitcher has been in the newspaper a few times already for his stellar performances this year.

If and when you walk past A.J., first say hello. You should always be polite, just like your parents taught you in elementary school.

Once you successfully execute a well thought out greeting, you can now move on to congratulating him on the team win they had a few days ago.

But if it just so happens that the baseball team lost, let A.J. know that the team will be alright and that next time we’ll get the win.

Simple enough? On to the next rule.

Rule #4: Proper Dress Code

If you really want to be the best sports fan that has ever attended PLU, you need to dress in the proper attire.

To accomplish this, you can simply take a quick stroll over to the Garfield Book Co., and snag a t-shirt, sweater, or beanie of your choice, making sure that it matches up with the sporting event that you wish to attend, and you can carry on your way.

Snapchat, tweet, even throw up an Instagram post of you wearing your new clothing, so that people know you are ready to root for fellow lutes.

Once this is accomplished, you are ready for the final rule to becoming a legit PLU sports fan.

Rule #5: Cheer them on

The final rule of becoming a great PLU sports fan is to actually attend the sporting event itself.

By attending different sporting events throughout the year, you’ll become a more educated fan and you’ll be looked at as somebody who shows pride in their school’s sports.

Moral of the story, go out and support.

You’ll help the Lutes gain a possible home field advantage by attending the games and who knows, you might have a lot of fun.
So get off the couch, put down the TV remote and show some love to your fellow PLU athletes.

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