The Curtain of Distraction that the Arizona State University fan group the “942 Crew,” named for the 942 student seats in ASU’s basketball arena, has gained national attention since its inception in 2013.
The problem many people see with the Curtain of Distraction, is that it simply is cheating. However, it is not a violation of any rules. To me, this means it’s clearly not cheating.
The Curtain of Distraction is just what it sounds like: a curtain that students jump out from, often in ridiculous and silly costumes, while the opposing team shoots free throws. This is an attempt to distract them. The numbers show the Curtain is effective, as opposing teams are shooting 8 percent worse from the line while the Curtain of Distraction is being used.
As a fan of a few professional sports teams, if there is a way I can get involved and help the team I’m rooting for win, I would do it. The “942 Crew” has found a way to do just that.
Not only is the Curtain of Distraction an effective free throw deterrent, it is also a brilliant way to spike student attendance. Students are more involved in ASU basketball than they have ever been.
According to CBS, student attendance has jumped 33 percent since the implementation of The Curtain of Distraction.
The Curtain has gained much more attention because of its intended use. It is blatantly designed for distraction, and some see that as a problem. But is it any different than fans in a professional basketball game making a ton of noise while the opposing team shoots free throws?
Fans make noise to distract the opposing team all the time. The difference is that professional athletes have learned to tune this noise out, and that is why they’re professionals. Perhaps The Curtain of Distraction is doing college athletes a favor by preparing them for the world of professional sports.
Hell, you can head up to one of Palomar’s baseball games and, when they get a rally going, they make as much noise from the dugout as possible to try to distract the opposing pitcher. Distraction is used all over sports, it just may not be as apparent as The Curtain of Distraction.
The “942 Crew” has come up with a fun way to raise student involvement and to help their team win. Isn’t that what being a fan is all about?
If it’s not against any rules, then I say more power to the ASU students. And if opposing teams have an issue with it, then they can implement their own distraction techniques when ASU comes to town.
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