Disclaimer: I have no proof other than hearsay that the following story is true. In fact, it may be entirely false, but makes for a fun story, nonetheless. The portion regarding APSU vs. Morehead State on Feb. 15 is, at least somewhat, true.
Back in the 1970s, (or was it the 80s? 90s?) administrators at Austin Peay State University decided the school's marquee "Let's Go Peay!" chant -- double entendres and all -- had to go. Crowds proclaiming/encouraging indecent exposure just didn't seem like a good fit for the stately school, named after a former governor, the higher-ups said.
And everybody knows what happens when you tell college students not to do something.
So the creative young minds in Clarksville put their heads together for a counterattack. If "Let's Go Peay!" was banned, they'd come up with something better.
At the next basketball game, the students unveiled their new slogan via cheer and on T-shirts and a large banner:
SHOW YOUR PEAY-NESS. Clap-clap clapclapclap.
Needless to say, signs proclaiming "Let's Go Peay!" now cover most of the advertising space inside the Dunn Center, as they have for many years.
However, at Wednesday night's conference game against Morehead State, the students didn't show nearly as much pluck. Most of the self-proclaimed "Peay-Nuts" sat quietly during the contest -- which, to be honest, wasn't much to get excited over.
It became clear early on that the game would be a race to 50 -- and by "race," I mean "slog." There was nothing remotely redeeming about the play of either team, except an arguably effective, but ugly defensive effort.
The ending, however, didn't lack drama. After Austin Peay built a small lead, Morehead State benefited from a stray elbow by a Peay player that resulted in an offensive flagrant foul.
The swing provided MSU some momentum and Donnie Tyndall stomped and clapped wildly as his team thwarted several late efforts by Peay.
Trailing by four with less than 10 seconds left, the Govs didn't even get a shot off. They fouled after a turnover, and Tyndall stormed his bench yelling "That is a great (garbled) win, boys!! Great win!"
But it wasn't over. After big-man Drew Kelly made the first free throw, some senseless jawing by Lamont Austin led to a technical foul, allowing Peay to narrow the gap to three. Luckily for the Eagles, Kelly made the second free throw and Peay failed to get a shot up.
Tyndall clapped, relieved, and shook hands with longtime APSU coach Dave Loos.
The Govs fell to below .500 in the conference, while Morehead edged ahead of them in the middle of the OVC pack.
It's the first time in a long time APSU is floating near the bottom of the OVC. The Dunn Center felt like it needed a spark.
May I suggest a slogan ban?
UPDATE: A quick Google search reveals there was controversy in the early 2000s about "Show Your Peayness" shirts being sold at a local bookstore (and featured on a sign). I'm not sure if this is connected to the story I relayed above, or whether it's an extension of it. There is also an even more juvenile Morehead chant that I refuse to repeat.
MOREHEAD STATE 52, at AUSTIN PEAY 48 02/15/2012
MOREHEAD STATE 15-13 (8-6) -- L. Austin 1-5 6-6 8; T. Proffitt 2-6 0-0 4; D. Kelly 2-3 7-8 11; A. Warner 1-5 0-0 2; D. Mathieu 3-4 3-3 10; M. Holden 3-11 0-0 9; M. Chavis 3-6 0-0 6; J. Percell 1-1 0-0 2; D. Atkinson 0-2 0-0 0; W. Bailey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-43 16-17 52. AUSTIN PEAY 9-19 (6-8) -- M. Baker 7-9 2-2 17; H. Lawrence 0-5 0-0 0; J. Terry 2-7 1-2 5; T. Edmondson 5-12 3-4 15; A. Williams 0-3 0-0 0; J. Fraley 2-4 2-5 6; W. Triggs 0-0 0-3 0; J. Clyburn 2-3 0-1 5; M. Hasse 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-43 8-17 48.
Three-point goals: MORE 4-16 (T. Proffitt 0-2; L. Austin 0-2; M. Holden 3-9; D. Mathieu 1-1; A. Warner 0-2), APSU 4-17 (J. Clyburn 1-2; T. Edmondson 2-6; A. Williams 0-3; M. Baker 1-1; J. Terry 0-1; H. Lawrence 0-4); Rebounds: MORE 27 (D. Kelly 8), APSU 29 (M. Baker 7); Assists: MORE 7 (L. Austin 3), APSU 13 (H. Lawrence 4); Total Fouls -- MORE 19, APSU 12; Fouled Out: MORE-None; APSU-None.