IS THIS THE BEST STUDENT SECTION IN THE COUNTRY?

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VO1111MBK01093H.JPGThe first time I heard the VCU student section and The Peppas belt out, “You don’t want to go to war, with the Raaaaaaams”, I got chills. When Chris “Pavarotti” Crowley dressed up like Blaine Taylor’s doppelganger, I laughed. When students came by the busload to the Final Four in Houston, I nearly lost my mind.

Here’s the portion of the blog where you pat yourselves on the back: The VCU student section – which includes but isn’t necessarily limited to the Rowdy Rams – is incredible. They are literally the backbone of the gameday atmosphere at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Here’s where things get real. Those of us who are at VCU games know how good our student section is. Now it’s time to let everybody else know. I Love College Hoops is going to name the Naismith Student Section of the Year. The winning school gets $10,000 toward its general scholarship fund. It also gets to call itself the best student section in the country. Last year Kansas won, and we all know what happens between VCU and Kansas when the chips are down.

Here’s how it works. Click HERE and “like” the I Love College Hoops Facebook page. They’ll be posting voting instructions tonight. First round voting begins tonight, and 16 schools advance to the second round. Make it happen, people.

ROWDY ROYALTY

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Kevin Woods has gone to great lengths to follow the Rams.

Kevin Woods has gone to great lengths to follow the Rams.

“No one says, that concert would have been much better on TV,” Kevin Woods wrote recently in an effort to explain his advanced level of fandom.

If you’ve been to a VCU Basketball game at some point in the last decade, you probably know Kevin Woods. He’s the 6-foot-4, gregarious, bearded face of the Rowdy Rams, the impassioned soul of the VCU student section. Woods, complete with hand-me-down jerseys spanning various eras of VCU hoops and black and gold wigs, has been one of the driving forces, and in many years, the de facto ringleader of the organization.

VCU Basketball is a way of life for the 28-year-old Varina native. It’s why his wife, Rachel, estimates his wardrobe is “80-90 percent” VCU-related. It’s why driving 20-hours round trip in one day for a single basketball game is just something you do. It’s why he’s known to camp out four, six, eight even 10 hours before a game just to get a seat.

“I think he’s just found a passion,” Rachel said. “He loves sports, he enjoys people. As much as he tries to convince people he’s an introvert, he’s an extravert. He likes to share what he enjoys, and for him, that’s VCU Athletics.”

It’s also why he’s attended every men’s basketball home game since the start of the 2003 season. There’s not much that could keep him from sitting standing and jumping in his usual seat, at the front of the student section, not even surgery.

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