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Gonzaga players, as much as anyone, enjoy the big-head phenomenon

Big heads of Josh Perkins and Zach Collins are distributed to Gonzaga students before the game with Bryant on Nov. 18 at McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Big heads of Josh Perkins and Zach Collins are distributed to Gonzaga students before the game with Bryant on Nov. 18 at McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
By Michael Gulledge michaelg@spokesman.com

Student sections at basketball games have always been known for their wild and crazy attempts to distract the opposing team.

Beginning in the early 2000s, it has become common for the faces of players, coaches, celebrities – and on some occasions President-elect Donald Trump – to be seen held high above student sections during college basketball games.

A few years ago, Gonzaga’s student section, the Kennel Club, joined the ranks of many other universities which had student sections participating in this new tradition.

Anyone in attendance at the McCarthey Athletic Center may see an emotionless, straight-faced Przemek Karnowski slowly rise up from the Kennel. Another possible sight is a cross-eyed and lip-scrunched Zach Collins.

“I probably think mine is the best,” Collins said following Thursday’s 97-63 victory over Mississippi Valley State.

Silas Melson, who is squinting one eye and sticking his tongue out for his enlarged head cutout, claims Collins’ poster is last on the team.

“I’ve seen it. It was kind of scary looking,” Melson said.

“I could’ve probably had some better funny faces for the poster,” Collins said. “But I like it. I think it keeps everybody loose because it’s pretty funny.”

And it’s not only those three players. A whole range of Bulldogs have oversized heads depicting funny facial expressions.

Distributed by the Kennel Board before tipoff, these head posters are given to students in exchange for their student ID card.

Nick Granberg, the senior class representative of the Kennel Board, said the posters are given to students who display the most school pride. He also said the board tries to disperse them evenly throughout the student section.

While serving as a tool to support the players and provide the other team with a distraction, these oversized head posters have grown in popularity.

Who knows what face will appear in the Kennel next?

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