By: Bryan Dutot
What the hell happened to the ‘Party Army’ at the University of Windsor?
If you don’t know what this Party Army is, you sure missed out. It has been nearly five years since the ‘Party Army’ electrified the St. Denis Centre during varsity Lancer games. The Party Army was a student section filled with highly spirited University of Windsor students at Lancer home games.
Yes, there was a student-section at Lancer games. They were crazy, loud and obnoxious. The group sold t-shirts that were insanely popular among students on campus. The shirt was simple, it was a typical yellow tee with large blue letters screaming ‘Party Army’ with a small grenade on the bottom right. If you bought a shirt, you were officially a member.
Today, it is clear that the University of Windsor struggles to get students to Lancer games. It is even a bigger challenge to get an energized crowd in the St. Denis Centre. But back not so long ago, I am sure some people just went to the Lancer games just to view the ‘animals’ of the Party Army. Students were eager to enlist. They had a thirst for it. It was almost a cult.
This is the spark the Lancers need. The Party Army can ignite the students’ interest to want to go to Lancer games again. There is no designated student section currently in St. Denis Centre, by reserving a section called the Blue and Gold, maybe the spirit can be reborn. I also believe the name, Party Army, was a large contributor to the effect of the squad. The Party Army sounds vicious and strong.
We have seen Lancer Nation, another University of Windsor club, attempt to increase in Lancer games, but failed in comparison to the Party Army. The culture of the two clubs is completely different. If I had to compare the groups, I would compare Lancer Nation as the goody-two-shoes, little sibling and identify the Party Army as the fun, loud, bend-the-rules, rebellious older sibling. “We are Lancer Nation,” was the slogan of the club Lancer Nation but it didn’t stick, it was too innocent (or lame). The Party Army filled seats. The fans and even the athletes ate it up.
The Windsor Lancers need a new Party Army. A new association, a new tradition, a new culture. Many students say we lack spirit. The athletes loved the Party Army. Evan Matthews, a former Lancer Men’s Basketball star, thought playing in the St. Denis Centre, in front of the Party Army was a thrill.
“Home games at Windsor were always the most exciting,” Matthews says. “We played in front of the Party Army which was comprised of students and athletes who you know on a personal level.”
The Party Army still exists. They continue to sell t-shirts for about $22. They still have their classic design. However, they have zero association with the University of Windsor. They decided to sell to the public. They have a Twitter page, check them out. I hope this column brings them back to where it all began. Return us to the good ol’ days. It is time for the Party Army to get some yellow shirts ready and assume their familiar position in the St. Denis Centre. Let’s get crazy, let’s get loud, let’s get obnoxious Lancers.
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