When you attend your first Gonzaga basketball game, some advice: bring earplugs. The student fans of Gonzaga’s Kennel Club are loud. Mind-blowingly, eardrum-shatteringly loud. There’s a method behind the madness, though, one that supports the university and channels its spirit in deeper ways.
Of course, Bulldog fans don’t make noise just for noise’s sake (though the din is a useful way to throw off the opposing team). Rather, the Club’s notoriety attracts attention to Gonzaga as a whole, and helps share the Zag name with the nation.
The Kennel Club also functions as an essential part of the university experience. According to alum Jeff Sacha (’08, B.A. Sociology and Criminal Justice), it’s become “the key institution to assimilate new students into the Gonzaga way of life—that is, creating and living within a community.” Sacha believes that “every night spent at McCarthey is as much a collective expression of unity as it is a celebration of the basketball team.”
By taking their seats in the stadium, fans also take their place in the Gonzaga family. It’s a lifelong, unwavering bond. As alum Mike Shields (’69) says, “Today, my passion is for much more than the games. It’s for the team, the season and all the relationships that have grown through Gonzaga University and basketball.”