They go to every practice and work their hardest, most do not have a scholarship, they are not interviewed after wins, nor quoted in articles. You probably do not know their names, or know their faces, but they’re always there… and they couldn’t be more excited about it: The Bench Mob.
As I am sidelined from all sporting actives due to a Turkey Bowl related injury, (Torn tendon in my left ring finer) I am living vicariously through the talents of the kids of whatever college basketball games are on TV, right now, it is the Monmouth v. Dayton game. Monmouth is known for their rowdy group of benchwarmers, and in this broadcast, they are getting an awful lot of airtime due to their wild celebrations. This begs the question…how important is the bench mob?
Last season, the most notorious Bench Mob was the DePaul Blue Demons. The Bench Mob actually has an active Twitter account with almost 800 followers (@DePaul_Benchmob) on which they tweet their celebrations and general team rowdiness. In fact, there is a great article that ranked the best of bench mobs last season in which DePaul is mentioned (http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball-news/4650191-basketball-bench-celebrations-nba-ncaa-texas-vcu-depaul).
Some people pay no mind to the Bench during a game…I ask that when a big play happens to glance over and see the reactions, it can say a lot about a team’s morale. When a player hits a clutch 3 and the bench jumps up as if they were in the student section it only adds to the play. It shows that those kids, who are unlikely to see any action, are still doing their best to help the team, and it helps the guys on the floor know that their friends have their backs and want them to succeed. The same can go for the opposite, when a team’s Bench hardly reacts it is a telling sign of selfishness and jealousy amongst teammates.
A team I noticed rarely celebrates is Kentucky, one would think it would be a great Bench Mob team seeing as they’re successful and exciting to watch, but it is the contrary. I think Kentucky is filled with selfish players that are not really, “about the team” and rather just want to get to the NBA (which there is nothing wrong with), but it is very clear when a great play is made and the Bench barely claps.
The X-factor that makes NCAA basketball so wild and fun is the fact that the players are just kids, and in order to win, they have to play as a team. The NBA is different, it is just 5 games of 1v1 going on, and rarely are the players as close as College teams are. The Bench Mob is a great microcosm for overall support of others. The Mob gains no playing time by cheering their team on, they do it because they truly love the guys and want them to succeed.
Never rule out the Mob
Providence College 2018