Sound and fury

February 16, 2014 12:00 a.m.  •  0 comments

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.

Related story: Sound and fury: Gonzaga's Kennel Club toes line between spirit, disruption

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The Gonzaga student section starts to make noise at the beginning of the Zags game with Pepperdine, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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The Gonzaga student section shows Portland no respect during player introductions, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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As the game clock winds down, the student section tries to unnerve Portland’s Bryce Pressley as he put the ball in play, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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Kennel Club members raise a ruckus before the start of the Gonzaga-BYU game, Jan. 25, 2014, in the MCCarthey Athletic Center.

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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.

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Gonzaga students keep track the 3-point shots made by the Zags against BYU, Jan. 25, 2014. They hold up nine after Kevin Pangos made his 6th 3-point basket.

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Gonzaga fans do a warm up cheer before their game with San Diego, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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Gonzaga University Kennel Club members make some noise during the Zags game against Oakland, Nov. 17, 2013, in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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Gonzaga students in the Kennel Club are all over Oakland’s Mitch Baenzinger in the first half, Nov. 17, 2013, in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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Gonzaga University Kennel Club members make some noise during the Zags game against Oakland, Nov. 17, 2013.

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Illinois’ Brandon Paul gets an earful from the Gonzaga Kennel Club late in the second half, Dec. 8, 2012.

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Gonzaga University Kennel Club members turn their backs on St. Mary’s during introductions, Feb. 9, 2012.

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Members of the Gonzaga University Kennel Club give San Diego’s Matt Dorr (20) a piece of their minds, Jan. 31, 2009 in the McCarthey Athletic Center.

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Gonzaga’s Kennel Club student section wills in a free throw during the second half against WSU in McCarthey Athletic Center, Dec. 2, 2009.

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