Fans of the Drake men’s basketball team are going to great lengths to follow the 15th ranked Bulldogs when they on the road. Drake student Chelsea Smith, president of the "Dog Pound" fan club, has helped organize on-campus gatherings to watch Drake’s away games on the internet. On Saturday night, about 75 students watched the Bulldogs’ victory at Indiana State in the Drake Student Union.
"It was only a couple dollars (to pay for the webcast)," Smith says, "so we just rounded up the usual Bulldog believers, talked to the student senate and we organized everything by four o’clock on Friday. We sent out a Facebook.com invitation, just got word of mouth out there, and everybody showed up wearing blue." The students were forced to watch the webcast through Indiana State’s website.
"We had to get it from gosycamores.com," Smith says, "which I felt about really bad going to the enemy. But, it was only seven dollars and after a while it was kind of funny because they kept showing the other team’s highlights, but we were winning so it was like…you can play that as much as you like."
Smith is expecting more students will show up at the student union to watch tonight’s game, which is only available for viewing in the Des Moines area via webcast. The Bulldogs, who are 11-0 and in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference, are in Normal, Illinois to face Illinois State. The Redbirds are in second place in the MVC at 8-3.
Smith says, "Everybody’s talking about Drake basketball. You can’t go anywhere without someone mentioning the ranking or asking if you went to the game. I remember last year it wasn’t so ‘blue’ out there but I’m seeing a lot more people wearing Bulldog stuff. Basically, basketball’s the only thing that students want to talk about right now and it’s really great to see that this year. When you go to games, everybody’s pumped for it. People are planning their days around the games, which doesn’t really happen that much here at Drake."
The Bulldogs, who are riding a school-record 19 game winning streak, have not won a conference championship since 1971 and are hoping to end a 37 year absence from the NCAA Tournament.