Is there a better sports chant than Queen’s ubiquitous “We Will Rock You?” STOMP STOMP CLAP STOMP STOMP CLAP. It is royalty when it comes to sporting crowds.
Recently I had the pleasure of attending my school’s sports day or chusotai. This is not to be confused with undoukai. There is very little written about chusotai on the internet because undoukai usually gets all the attention.
Showing up at this event is an expectation if you are an ALT. Essentially throughout the town/city you are in there will be small sports tournaments for every club that is at your school or schools. There is literally nothing for you to do all day except watch the kids play mostly subpar sports. Shana wrote a post about her experience watching the girls basketball team here.
The girls’ volleyball was first thing in the morning and the baseball game I was supposed to go to didn’t start till 10:30AM or so. The boys’ volleyball teams along with a handful of parents were there in full support, lungs exploding with Japanese cheers. The girls’ teams seemed quite competitive but sadly neither of the schools I teach at won their volleyball games.
I then followed the brass band, the track team (who didn’t compete till the following weekend), the art club, and the science club out to the baseball park to cheer on our baseball team. Not surprisingly there was an orchestrated cheer using the brass band for our at-bats and polite silence during the other teams at-bats so their cheers could be heard. For every batsmen they started a cheer with their name and it always ended with, “HOME RUN KATO SAY NO!” I think. I don’t speak Japanese.
After our baseball team cruised to victory behind some excellent pitching we marched as a group back to the school where we arrived just in time for the boys’ volleyball game to start. There were only 2 teams so it was a winner take all match. They also allowed spectators on the floor for this match since one volleyball court wasn’t being used.
At this point all of the students at the school were doing a cheer that went like, “HAY GAKKO HAY SAY GAKKO!” and involved an elaborate clap routine. I couldn’t quite get the hang of it. We were all standing on the gym floor which is perfect for Queen’s, “We Will Rock You.” I started out modestly stomping and soon the rest of the student body in attendance caught on to what is the most intimidating cheer when executed well. In fact we executed the cheer a little too well.
About fifteen seconds into the cheer (when the stomp really started to sound menacing) the referee from the volleyball game, blew the whistle, stopped the action, pointed at me and several students, and said something very frustrated in Japanese. I can only assume he was demanding that we stop being awesome at cheering because all of the students stopped immediately. He must have been very frightened by the killer sound of, “We Will Rock You.” It was indeed fearful. Sadly the students had to resort to their standard cheer and ultimately my team lost the game. Clearly that ref was exacting some sort of despicable revenge for our amazing prowess at inciting fear in the opposing team.
It was a sad day in sports.