Stephen (far left) with fellow Red Scare Members at the SUIE Exhibition game. Photo courtesy Olivia Shirk for Flyer News.
Nick Chandiles | Contributing Writer
University of Dayton’s student extension of athletics, also known as the Red Scare, plays a pivotal role in ensuring UD athletic events are both energetic and vibrant. Red Scare fosters a sense of belonging and community that goes beyond the boundaries of individual teams. The Red Scare is truly one of a kind, at every game, they inject infectious enthusiasm that leaves casual viewers with no choice but to conform. At every home game, their cheers echo the shared aspirations of the entire university, becoming a powerful reminder that, in the realm of college sports, the journey is just as significant as the destination.
Flyer News Contributing Writer Nick Chandiles conducted an interview with senior Stephen Bradley, who is a key member of the Red Scare, to learn about the dynamics of the group and how they operate on game days and events alike. From Chandiles’ observations, Stephen is amongst the most electric of individuals in any arena or stadium, at any given time, so learning about his mindset is crucial to gaining a better understanding of the club.
What made you want to be a part of the Red Scare?
Bradley: I joined Red Scare my junior year because I needed something to do on campus and thought that if I were to do something, it would be with athletics. At the time I did not know what Red Scare really was. I have grown to love every second of the time I spend doing things for the club. Red Scare is much more than just some people who love spending time watching sports; we help bridge the gap between the athletic department and the student body.
Whether that is from creating giveaways to get students to games, helping athletics create promotions, or using social media to help spread the word for other sports on campus that are not just Men’s Basketball. Red Scare does a lot of table hours where we talk to students about athletics and discuss what would get them to games. Being a part of the fun that students have here at UD is a reason that I wanted to be in Red Scare.
What qualities do you think are essential for a successful Red Scare member?
Bradley: Patience: there are a lot of fall sports and there are often three-to-four home games in a weekend, so it can get tiring to have to constantly put an energetic performance together.
Positiveness: if you’re at a game and it is not going well, you cannot let the crowd down, it is our job to get the crowd going and keep them engaged to help our athletes out and show them that we’re with them.
Creativity: we must think of interesting and unique ways to get students to games and think outside the box about how we can make our student section stand out across the nation. No one likes to be boring.
How do you handle pressure and perform in front of a crowd, especially at a big basketball school like UD?
Bradley: The performance at the games comes naturally for me at least, as we all want to be there, and we all want to make sure everyone that walks through the Red Scare entrance has the best game day atmosphere we can provide. In my case, there is no special performance, if you see me screaming, that’s how I would be at games, Red Scare aside.
We have responsibilities that we each do and assign during game days and the pressure really comes from making sure that we have students in the seats come game time. That is what we work very hard for each week and that is the measure of our performance.
What unique skills or talents do you possess that would contribute to the Red Scare’s success?
Bradley: There is no one skill that anyone has that really takes precedence, a few of us know how to cut clips, others know how to edit, and others know how to use Photoshop. The content and ideas we create are ideas that are made by members that either helped workshop or have contributed to Red Scare. We strive as a team, and I personally would not have it any other way.
How do you balance your academic commitments with your involvement in the Red Scare?
Bradley: Being a senior, it helps that I don’t have as hard of a schedule, but last year it was interesting when first starting out and trying to balance when I had free time when I wasn’t at games for either work or Red Scare. Google Calendar was, and still is, my best friend. Talking on a serious note, it came down to me wanting to do the best for myself and ensuring I got my work done when I could. A few late nights now aren’t going to kill me.
How would you handle a situation where not everyone in the squad agrees on a routine or performance style?
Bradley: There is not a ton of interference like this, if anything, we joke about some of the old chants that we don’t use anymore, and even some that we do still use. Realistically, if this was ever to happen it would not be a big deal at all.
What is your favorite aspect of college basketball, and how do you incorporate that enthusiasm into your role in the Red Scare?
Bradley: That gameday feel. There is nothing better than gameday. That is why we love leaning into that “Can it get better than this?” attitude on days when we have games. For the first game of the year, we were all texting about how we could not pay attention in class, and if that does not show you that we are all way too into this, then I do not know what does.
How do you engage and energize the crowd during games, and is there a different approach every year?
Bradley: This year especially with some fresh faces on the team we want to make sure that everyone can get into the same rhythm we’ve had for the past few years.
Throughout your time as a member of the Red Scare, what gets the fans most pumped for Flyer Basketball?
Bradley: That chapel blue gets everyone going and I cannot wait until they bring that back again, baby.
The Red Scare, the spirited student extension of the University of Dayton’s athletics, is much more than just a pep squad. It’s a vital force ensuring energetic and vibrant athletic events. Serving as a beacon of unity, they rally students, alumni, and faculty under the banner of school pride. Stephen Bradley articulated what it means to be a member of the Red Scare, as he emphasized the club’s role in bridging the gap between the athletic department and the student body. Patience, positivity, and creativity are deemed essential qualities for a successful Red Scare member, particularly when facing the pressure of performing at big basketball events.
Bradley highlights the importance of balancing academic commitments with Red Scare involvement, relying on tools like Google Calendar. In addressing potential disagreements within the squad, he downplays their significance, emphasizing the collaborative and supportive nature of the team. Bradley, who had no prior experience in such a role, sees the Red Scare not just as a club but as ambassadors connecting the athletic department with students.
His favorite aspect of college basketball is the gameday feel, and this enthusiasm is woven into the Red Scare’s approach. They aim to engage and energize the crowd consistently, adjusting their approach yearly to accommodate new team dynamics. Chapel blue, a tradition that resonates with fans, is highlighted as a key element that gets everyone excited for Flyer Basketball. Through their dedication, creativity, and unwavering enthusiasm, the Red Scare continues to play a crucial role in shaping the vibrant atmosphere sporting events here at the University of Dayton.
For more reporting on Flyer Pep Band check out our previous coverage.