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So You Want to Bee-Zany at Every Hornets Game?
The New Orleans Hornets will host auditions for their fan-group, the Zatarain’s Bee-Zanies, this Thursday from 7-9 at Walk On’s Bistreaux. Winners will get season tickets in the lower bowl and the opportunity to lead Hornets fans in cheering for what very well may be the most exciting team since 2008-2009.
I spoke with Sean, a well-known costumed veteran of the squad, to get you some inside information on what the the Zanies are all about and how you can ensure that you make the team.
Note: Previously the Bee-Zanies were sponsored by both Budweiser and Zatarain’s, meaning they had to drink Budweiser (or at least drink something out of a Budweiser cup) as opposed to other brands. Now that Budweiser isn’t the sponsor you will presumably be able to drink whatever the heck you want. I suggest Abita.
Q: Can you tell me what it’s like being part of the most hardcore Hornets fan group around?
Sean: First off, it’s an amazing experience. We get tickets to sit in the lower bowl of the arena, allowed to stand the whole game (which isn’t usually the case in the lower bowl, for those who have sat lower before), cheer/chant for the team we all love, and be around other fans just as crazy as we are. Coming up on our 3rd season together, we have some veterans who are just like family to me, it’s great.
Q: You’re about as experienced a Bee-Zanie as they come. What advice would you give to those who are trying out for the first time?
Sean: DO. NOT. HOLD. BACK. Seriously though, we’re looking for some of the craziest Hornets fans who want to give it their all for 4 straight quarters, win or lose, why wouldn’t you give it your all for a 30 second-minutes tryout? A common misconception of our group and question I always get is, “Do I need to be in a costume or have a character?” The answer to that, nope, but we do require our members to have Hornets gear on or a Bee Zanies t-shirt (which will be given to all accepted members)
Q: Is there anything in particular that you think the judges are looking for?
Sean: I know this is probably understood, but showing up in Hornets stuff is always a plus. In the past, the judges have shown interest in those possessing originality with their tryouts, either by costume, song (rap), or chant. We’re always trying to better our squad, so original chants are always welcomed.
Q: I assume that sometimes when you go home thinking, “We (the Bee-Zanies) really a played a key role in that win”. Is that true?
Sean: I think the atmosphere in the Arena can really dictate the energy our team plays with. You always hear about the Mercedes Benz Superdome being an intimidating place to play because of our fans and I don’t see why we can’t make the New Orleans Arena just as menacing. The Bee Zanies are just a piece of that puzzle, we’re out there to cheer for our team no matter the outcome. The couple of times I’ve had the chance to meet some players, they always have something positive to say about our group and what we bring to the arena. One game that stands out in my mind when talking about the impact the Bee Zanies can have on the game/crowd was the Lakers/Hornets playoff game in 2011, the final game we saw CP3 play in a Hornets jersey. The game was in control by the Lakers to close us out and in the final minute we began to chant “THANK YOU HORNETS” and the whole arena chanted with us, it was awesome. It was even mentioned in an ESPN article recapping the game, “But one thing was clear as the fans in New Orleans rained down a “thank you Hornets” chant on their team at the end of that game — New Orleans has some passionate fans that love that team.” -ESPN
Q: We’ve seen y’all at games, but you also do a lot of appearances for the team on billboards other forms of advertising. Tell me about the first time you saw yourself on a billboard or TV.
Sean: First time I saw us on a billboard on Poydras next to WalkOns was a “WOW” Moment for sure. The Hornets organization has been really great to the us, as a group, including us in advertisements (I’m In commercials, tickets, game programs, etc) and showing how much they appreciate our enthusiasm. I’m just a normal fan on the inside, just like everyone else, and to see yourself on a billboard or commercial for the team you support is crazy!
Q: Do you have a favorite chant or cheer that you’ve done as a Bee-Zanie?
Sean: It’s a simple one, but whenever the Hornets are shooting a free throw, we all hold our hands up in silence…and after a made shot we yell “YEAHHHHH BUDDY!” (we had some international players last year and would say it in their native language which always got a laugh from people around us). It’s also one of those things that’s easy enough for people around us to participate in and for us to see, so that’s always fun.
Q: What’s the best costume you’ve ever seen at a Hornets game, Bee-Zanie or otherwise?
Sean: Of course I love all of our known Bee Zanies costumes, but I’m a huge fan of the decked out Hornets Santa Clause that comes to games around the Holidays. Just imagine a Santa outfit, but in Creole Blue, real white beard and hair, the whole nine yards.
Joe: Thanks a lot, Sean. We look forward to seeing and hearing you and all the Bee-Zanies throughout the season. GEAUX HORNETS!
Here’s a video of last season’s Bee-Zanies tryouts.
The Tryout Deets
· The New Orleans Hornets have teamed up with Zatarain’s to hold an open casting call on Thursday, Sept. 27 from 7-9 p.m. at Walk-On’s (1009 Poydras St., New Orleans, La.)
· The Bee Zanies started during the 2010-11 season and are a cheering section that includes nearly 50 of the loudest, rowdiest and most creative Hornets fans.
· Bee Zanies hopefuls must be 21 years old.
· At tryouts, each candidate will be given 30 seconds to display their Hornets passion and spirit in an open audition.
· Candidates are encouraged to audition with their friends, spouses, significant others and other groups who share a love for the Hornets.
· All hopefuls should come prepared with creative Hornets costumes/outfits, player chants or cheers, signs, props and any other creative and unique methods to show how zanie they are for the Hornets.
· For more information on the Bee Zanies auditions presented by Zatarain’s, please visit Hornets.com or e-mail email@example.com