Editor’s note: The Dayton Flyers start the season Nov. 11. In the 26 days leading to the opener, the Dayton Daily News will explore different aspects of the program in the A-Z Guide to Dayton Basketball. This is the 12th installment. L: LOWD
A new word began showing up on signs in the student section at UD Arena last season. The word even popped up on a posterboard behind Dayton’s bench at the Barclays Center during the Atlantic 10 tournament.
The signs read, “LOWD.”
Anyone watching on television might have made fun of fans of the Dayton Flyers for such an obvious typo. Lowd is not a word recognized by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. Loud is fine. Lowd is … well, no one really knows.
“I’m not sure really where it came from,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said, “but I know it sticks pretty good in the arena. Anything social media wise, anything going on with the Red Scare, the word LOWD is always hashtagged on it. It is LOWD in there, so it fits.”
The website Blackburn Review, which covers the Flyers, started popularizing the word two years ago. It took off last season, especially as a hashtag on Twitter. In short, if there’s an official definition, it’s this: “LOWD is louder than loud.”
PHOTOS: Best photos of UD fans
A program that has ranked in the top 30 in the nation in attendance for 19 straight seasons and averaged 12,942 fans last season — the second-best mark in UD Arena history — can certainly get loud and LOWD. Here’s what LOWD means to the fans who have embraced the word.
Courtney Deutsch: Listen. Either you’re LOWD… or you’re not. And this has very little to do with volume.
My guess is that many people reading this column will have no clue what LOWD means. And that’s because they aren’t on that social media platform with the little blue bird, or they haven’t stumbled upon the right people to follow. Oh sure, the concept of LOWD is starting to seep out into the mainstream masses, but it got its roots among an intertwined group of random UD fans, connected only by their Wi-Fi and love of the Dayton Flyers.
For me, LOWD represents being a part of a group. A secret community of loyal UD fans, that only some people know about. Anyone can be a member, and all are welcome, but only if you know the group exists.
LOWD is a cross section of the Flyer Faithful that cannot be defined by any standard demographic measurement. LOWD is a long-distance connection to others who bleed red and blue. LOWD is bantering, discussion and debate with others who share your passion. LOWD is being able to watch a game with friends, even when you’re in bed alone at home.
My favorite LOWD moment is any that spurs reaction and bliss from my UD Twitter friends, very few of whom I actually know in real life. In fact, I’m not sure I’d have much in common with any of these people if I ran into them on the street. But we’re all connected in this way. So the next time any UD news comes out, or a game tips off, we’ll all pull out our phones and meet up like old friends … and we’ll all get really LOWD.
Joe DeLiberato: I don’t know exactly what makes LOWD special or why it has brought a bunch of UD alumni/fans together on Twitter. What I do know is that LOWD broke the will of Ed Cooley and the Providence Friars on the night of March 20, 2015. That is my favorite LOWD moment. It was thousands of UD fans bringing the LOWD on a future #5 overall NBA draft pick & his coach who after the game would admit that he didn’t think his team got a fair shake with the location of the game. That night, as we knew from many nights before, the LOWD traveled outside of the Dayton Decibel Dungeon. The LOWD movement continues on. I don’t know if it can be explained but you’ll know when you hear it next.
Dan Sullivan: I am a UD fan because I am a second-generation Flyer who went to his first game at age 5.
The Chicago alumni group makes LOWD special to me. It’s where you find fans crazy enough to buy season tickets from 300 miles away (my group), and parents willing to make the 4½-hour drive for every home game. Its where you find a packed bar every Saturday in January, February and March to watch the Flyers.
My favorite LOWD moment was being at Glascotts in Lincoln Park when UD beat Stanford in 2014. My favorite LOWD moment will be when we beat Northwestern this year and bring more fans than all the other programs.
Kevin Flynn: I’ve been a UD fan since going to school there back in 1999. I not only fell in love with the university, but with the basketball program, too. My favorite LOWD moment has to be the 2015 UD-Providence NCAA game in Columbus. Nationwide Arena was packed with UD fans and it was LOWD right from the start. I remember the whole lower bowl was packed with red, except for a small section of Providence fans. I really think that was a home game for UD with the crowd behind them and the LOWDness was a major reason for the victory. I also remember after the game seeing on Twitter, a writer who covers Ohio State basketball, said the UD game was the loudest game he had seen all year, including all OSU games at the Schott.
Patrick Sharkey: Dayton is the hometown team and only team I cheer for. Brian Roberts going off against Pittsburgh, from start to finish, that was the LOWDest I’ve ever heard the arena.
Ben Heigel: For me, LOWD is a place to put all the craziness aside and talk to friends I have never actually met about the greatest university on the planet. LOWD also represents what makes UD such an incredible place. It is a place that you can not truly understand until you’ve actually experienced it. It is a place that provides unforgettable memories, and most importantly it is a community that the only qualification is to be a Flyer
Adam Gutheil: LOWD transcends simple noise. It’s the indescribable force that commands an elderly lady to call into a talk show after every game. It’s a “Let’s go Flyers” chant echoing through gyms and arenas far from the 937. It’s seeing UD flags and gear at every rest stop and gas station from here to Memphis. It’s Ed Young, Brooks Hall, and Jordan Sibert. It’s Devin Oliver. It’s Chris Daniels and Steve McElvene. When John Chaney brings his Temple team to practice at a high school before an A10 tourney game, LOWD is a 17-year-old kid peeking into the gym and yelling “Beat Xavier tonight.” (They did, you’re welcome). It’s the goosebumps you get when that silly Jock Jams song drops. What is LOWD? It’s everything.
David Cable: Lowd is the expansion of the UD cliche that is the word community. Lowd means I can go to a random city, see someone in a Dayton shirt, and get lost in conversation with a complete stranger. Lowd means losing my voice at a road game as an alumni, when I should instead be politely clapping. Lowd means going back to campus for the first time in years and knowing I’m home, getting welcomed back by current students with open arms. Lowd means having an unfiltered passion for my school that outsiders don’t understand. Lowd is a made up word that means nothing. Lowd means everything.
Charles James: We grew up in Dayton. We came here for school. We are doctors, lawyers, and hourly workers. We are bachelors, just married and on our third child. We are at the game and searching for feeds online. But every time our Dayton Flyers take the court, we are one.
Some of us remember May, and Obrovac, Negele, and Grevey. And some of us grew up knowing only losing. We lost our minds when Kendall Pollard blocked Kris Dunn. We cried tears of joy when we became elite. And tears of sadness when we lost Big Steve.
We have stupid sayings. The Daytona Fliers. The Decibel Dungeon. The Gem City Cagers. WARE Red. Be LOWD.
Most don’t know where LOWD came from. And none of us should care. It’s all of us, together. A community of strangers who lead normal lives. But when that ball tips, we all become one big crazy family.
This is our town.
This is our school.
This is our team.
WE. ARE. LOWD.
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