San Diego State basketball coach Brian Dutcher doesn't mind sharing some of the credit for his program's success.
“We've won titles because we have the best crowd in the Mountain West, the west and maybe the country.”
The lively environment at Viejas Arena is fueled, of course, by The Show.
“They are hard to go against if you're the opposition,” Dutcher continued. “If they're your home crowd they can really get behind you, and they really inspire the team.”
Dutcher’s praise is welcome reassurance for the students that lead the charge.
“It's just surreal that we can actually have an impact,” SDSU senior Haley Simpson said. “Just by being ourselves and being passionate.”
Simpson helps run The Show, along with sophomore Chase Osborn.
“What do we have in common, other than we're just idiots who love basketball and like to scream insults at other people,” Osborn added. “I think that's really what The Show is when you boil it down to its core.”
They are rowdy, and sure a bit harsh to visitors, but that alone hasn't earned their team's affection. They are dedicated as well, showing up for pregame warmups, and sticking around for postgame high-fives and some clean up.
That level of commitment is part of what’s made this season so difficult.
Their section, like the rest of the Arena, is empty. When the Aztecs opened the season with a marquee win over No. 22 UCLA, absent were the usual sights and sounds of The Show.
“I was so sad I didn't get to do ‘I believe’ for that game, the entire arena would've been going nuts,” Osborn said.
The typical atmosphere wasn't there, but it wasn't totally missing either.
In November Chase sent out a tweet asking fans to pass along videos of themselves doing the infamous ‘I believe’ chant. From there the opportunity arose to piece together a video to run on the big screen inside Viejas Arena before games.
The Show at Home was born.
It was a heart-warming sight before the UCLA game.
“I'm not gonna lie I was like crying,” Simpson said.
Their voices are also heard throughout the action, with crowd noise from previous seasons filling the arena.
“You think we're not there but in reality we're still there,” Haley added.
Chase and Haley say they’re working on more ways to keep fans engaged throughout the season. They are also still looking for more ‘I believe’ videos to use at games. If you record yourself doing the chant and tweet it to @TheShowSDSU, you could end up on the big screen.