This item originally appeared in the January 27, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.
All right, break it up.
The squabble between the Hoop Troop and the growing anti-Hoop Troop faction has gone on long enough.
From letters to the editor to disgruntled fans, the fighting has gotten everyone nowhere fast.
To be honest, the Hoop Troop is feeling underappreciated, while the other side feels the band is just making a spectacle of itself and vying for attention in their own right.
For that and many other reasons, not everybody likes the Hoop Troop.
Make no mistake.
The Hoop Troop adds a tremendous element to the 8,000-capacity Thomas Assembly Center, especially when only 1,500 people are in attendance and barely half actually show interest of getting into the game.
And now that conference time has rolled around, basketball tips off at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays.
The Hoop Troop has been absent from the first half of some games on Thursday nights.
That's not a shot.
That's a fact.
Also a fact: Class MUEN 273 and 473 goes from 4:30 to 6:30 and falls on Monday, Tuesday AND Thursday.
Members of the Hoop Troop are required to be in these classes.
One absence is minus one letter grade from the instructor.
And keep in mind the word "class." It's NOT just practice.
On the other side of the fence are basketball fans who think the Hoop Troop has defiled the opportunity to be true fans to help their team and has turned basketball games into a show for its own glory.
Also a fact: The Bulldogs and Techsters score more points in the second half of games than they do in the first half.
Granted, that accounts for both home and away games. So it's not totally the band's fault.
But this wouldn't be an issue if the band's presence wasn't needed for the entire game.
For a crowd that needs all the help it can get, the band's presence is without a doubt welcome, even if some think the band is not.
A lot of people are sick of the incessant yelling of "SIXTY-NINE" every time it goes on the scoreboard, while they love "Nuts and bolts!" when a call doesn't go their way.
Also a fact: There are a lot more people supporting their beloved Bulldogs and Techsters this year than in some years past.
Diehard fans are becoming more common in the 2005 season, clearly shown by Saturday night's crowd of 2,863 that watched the Bulldogs put on another thrill ride.
But the overall fan problem has plagued Tech basketball, men's and women's, for years and doesn't look like it's going away.
That's truly a shame, considering what the Techsters have overcome this year so far to be undefeated in conference play, while the Bulldogs are looking to extend their two-game winning streak against Boise State and UTEP to continue moving up in the WAC.
After all, isn't this what the fighting is really about?
Shouldn't everyone be concerned with the well being of these teams instead of feeling underappreciated on one hand while feeling like they are at a circus in another?
Let's call it a draw and cheer for Tech.
Kyle Roberts is a senior journalism major from Ruston and serves as associate sports editor for The Tech Talk.