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Northwestern tells screaming superfan to quiet down

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The end of an era.

NCAA Basketball: Selection Sunday-Northwestern Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

You’ve heard her before.

If you have watched a Northwestern basketball home game at any point in the last three years, you have heard Northwestern superfan Emily Harriott screaming at the top of her lungs, pretty much nonstop. Well, that era has come to an end, according to a story broken by the Chicago Tribune.

After receiving complaints from fans and television partners, Northwestern has asked Emily Harriott to quiet down. The last straw came in Sunday’s game against Illinois. With a mausoleum-like atmosphere in Welsh-Ryan Arena, Harriott’s voice could be heard loud and clear across the country once again. It has been a nonstop presence for the entirety of Harriott’s college career.

And then, suddenly it was gone.

“How about we not do that anymore?” is how Harriott said Northwestern director of Scott Obering put it to her.

She complied. In the next home game against Iowa, there was an emptiness. The screaming was absent.

Personal note: I know Emily quite well. She does “the scream” at every single Northwestern sporting event, from the slowest relay heat at club track meets to random wrestling bouts. While competing for Northwestern, even in my small way, it is nice to always have someone cheering like crazy for you, I must admit. I will also say that making other fanbases mad (the Illinois Twitter accounts were IRATE) is also part of the fun. I also don’t know how she keeps up “the scream” for so long.

That being said, I do understand that the noise has become deeply unpleasant amongst fans, and has often made the viewing experience quite difficult. You don’t actually hear it in the stadium that much, but the frequency is somehow amplified most by television microphones. I feel bad for Harriott because it does seem like a rather unkind way to treat someone who has been, very possibly, the biggest Northwestern fan of all time during her years at college (she is the president of Northwestern Wildside, a student-run fan organization). She’s also a senior, which means we only would’ve had to deal with “the scream” for another few home games. No one has thus far been willing to pick up the mantle.

I propose that, in honor of Emily, all Northwestern fans in attendance do a large, earth-shattering scream at the top of their lungs and annoy everybody. This would preferably be during an opposing free throw or while Dan Dakich is speaking. Then, we should probably retire the bit for good.