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Suit Crew perfectly suited for heckling
Audra Stamp / Intern
At most UNT home basketball games, a rowdy group of students can be heard heckling the opponents from the student section, hoping to be a distraction.
The self-proclaimed Suit Crew “suits up” on game nights to yell at the opposing team. Many members used to play in the UNT Basketball Pep Band, which is known for its heckling and wild nature, and they wanted to continue the badgering.
“The whole point is to just make fun of the other people and see if we can get a reaction from the other team,” said music education senior Tony Mencio, one of the creators of the group.
Starting this season, Mencio and four other men began the tradition and many followers joined in the hooting and hollering in classy dress. The idea originated from “How I Met Your Mother” character Barney Stinson – portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris – and his ever-present sophisticated attire.
Group members typically dress in green shirts and athletic shorts, but add a suit jacket – that most buy from Denton Thrift – and a loose-fitted tie around their necks. They also add their own touches such as green wigs and top hats. They sit in the front rows of the student section, directly behind the opponent’s bench.
“I always appreciate when our students are involved in all our athletic programs,” women’s head basketball coach Mike Petersen said. “I think all those folks are important to help us grow our program and to have a fun environment.”
While the Suit Crew gets wild at times, Mencio said it does have three rules: never swear at the players, never heckle an injured player during a game and no directly making fun of a player’s weight.
The group often criticizes the opposing team’s home state and players if they make a poor play, such as air balling a shot or commit a turnover. The Suit Crew has even gone as far as to hand out fact sheets about the opposing team for fans to yell about during the games.
Reactions have ranged from disgusted looks, to laughter from an entire bench, to being sworn at by an assistant coach. They have received many hand gestures and at times even some spit from players.
“In the game I don’t hear it as much, but it’s funny,” sophomore guard Jordan Williams said. “It motivates me. I like what they say about the other team.”
For any UNT students looking for a way to show Mean Green attitude, the Suit Crew welcomes people to suit up and prepare taunts.