The gyrating mass of humanity at Gonzaga University men’s basketball games creates a wall of sound, felt as much as it is heard. Twelve hundred rabid students jumping in unison on mobile bleachers inside McCarthey Athletic Center send pile-driving shocks that reverberate through concrete. Whipped into a frenzy before tip-off, this crowd of mostly college students represents the beating heart of a program that has become inextricably linked to Spokane’s identity.
The Kennel Club, with 2,500 paying members, has an 18-member board of directors that meets with school officials daily during the basketball season. They go over proposed cheers, talk about what’s acceptable for signs or costumes and constantly try to set boundaries for The Line.
Gonzaga University Kennel Club members raise a ruckus before the start of the BYU basketball game, Jan. 25, 2014, at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The students hold an enlarged photograph of school president Thayne McCulloh.