Hockey players are not the only ones who are aggressive in Bird Arena during hockey season.
The student organization known as Gang Green considers themselves “The Best Student Section in College Hockey” because of their constant taunting of the other teams. The group dresses up in Ohio Hockey clothing and cheers for the Bobcats at many home games.
“It just was a high energy atmosphere and it allowed me to yell and scream,” Thomas Fankhauser, an OU alumnus and previous member of Gang Green, said at the game against Colorado on Saturday. Fankhauser was a member of Gang Green for five years before he graduated.
Fankhauser rarely stopped yelling at the game. He taunted the other team’s goalie with chants that played on the goalie’s last name.
Even when the other team scored, Gang Green was yelling. They wouldn’t let the emcee announce who scored because of their consistent yelling of the phrase “no one cares!”
One member of Gang Green put on a mask with a cat’s face on it to harass opponents that ended up in the penalty box, which the student organization sits next to.
Matt Rudin, a sophomore forward on hockey team, said in an email that he “can see the frustration in the eyes of the players” when Gang Green is in full effect.
Members even go as far as knowing the opponent’s first names so they can attempt to distract and irritate them further.
Rudin said the devotion they have to the Bobcats is “something special.”
Emily Witte, a senior studying education, said that her favorite part is “ripping the goalie apart.”
One of the many traditions of Gang Green is having a member run around the rink every time Ohio scores and adding another person in the line for every goal made, Taylor Baird, the president of Gang Green, said. “The (goalies) on the other teams don’t notice until it’s like four or five people and then they realize what we’re doing and they feel really terrible,” Baird, a senior studying psychology and anthropology, said.
Fankhauser said that being a part of Gang Green was “better than therapy.”
Baird said many of the traditions, such as dancing to “YMCA” and “Sweet Caroline,” were already established when she became president.
“My favorite part is the impact we have on a lot of the other fans,” Baird said.
The student section involves everyone around them with their cheers and encourages all fans to get in on the cheering, and they are usually able to. Many of the fans around Gang Green cheer just about as much as the members themselves.
One child even went over to the section with his own hockey stick Saturday with an OU flag attached to it, which is what many of the members have.
The child joined in on waving his flag with the student section members during every goal Ohio had and at the beginning of every intermission.
“We have a lot of little kids who will come and hang out with us during the game and will follow us,” Baird said. “(It’s) really cool to see the impact we are having on them.”
Not only do children follow around Gang Green members, but so do adults. An alumnus followed them around the entire rink to dance the “YMCA” as well as “Sweet Caroline” during intermission.
Even though Gang Green is relatively small, they were still the loudest ones in Bird Arena on Saturday. Baird said the group has about 10 legitimate members, and they are able to get many of the fans cheering right alongside them and seem to have had a fun time doing it.
“It’s super easy to join. Just come and yell with us,” Witte said.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled Matt Rudin's name. The article has been updated to show the most accurate information.