Informed heckling

Author: Mike Connolly '02


The Leprechaun Legion debuted at men’s basketball games this past season, hurling precision insults in hopes of distracting opposing players and coaches.

Founded by senior Rob Pazornik and numbering about 200 students, the Legion would put in hours of advance work checking websites and message boards for information about opponents. They also gathered material from friends in enemy camps (other Big East schools), who would tip them off to players’ misdeeds. Before each game the accumulated dirt would then be compiled into “jeer cards,” sheets of paper handed out to the student section. The sheets listed phrases to be barked in unison in specific situations. Sometimes these were accompanied by gestures.

Here are some of the group’s memorable efforts from its inaugural season:

“Feed me” — shouted at Kentucky star Tayshaun Prince, who, in the Legion’s words, “has the physical build of Keith Richards and is about as pretty as Mick Jagger.”

“DZ, phone home” — the Legion’s advice to Pitt’s Donatas Zavackas, who was reportedly suspended freshman year on charges of stealing long-distance phone codes.

“Your team hates you,” to Seton Hall guard Ty Shine. A teammate punched him in a locker room brawl the previous season.
“Belarus!” to Providence’s Christopher Anrin. He had acknowledged being a huge fan of the hockey team of his homeland, Sweden, which had just been upset in the Olympics by the former Soviet republic.

The Bag Wave. Whenever portly forward Mike Sweetney of Georgetown went to the foul line, students waved McDonald’s take-out bags. It didn’t work. Sweetney made seven of nine from the line in scoring 19 total points as the Hoyas beat the Irish by 10.

Compiled by Mike Connolly ’02

Notre Dame Magazine, summer 2002