Social media stunt grows to hype up thousands of Longhorn football fans

Bobby Blanchard

Cole Kirby thought #GetLoudDKR would be a small inside joke between his friends.

He was wrong.

More than 2,000 people have committed to a Facebook event called “#GETLOUDDKR” that encourages fans to tag #GetLoudDKR on Twitter and raise the noise at this weekend’s football game against West Virginia. The campaign is in response to Kenny Vaccaro’s Sept. 10 comments that he prefers playing on the road than at home, because Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is too quiet.

On Monday religious studies junior Kirby said he was discussing his excitement for the West Virginia game with advertising junior Ryan Hernandez.

“We started talking about how the crowd and noise isn’t very loud, especially for a stadium that holds as many people as it does,” Kirby said. “We thought it would be funny to try some sort of social media advertisement to encourage fans to get into the game.”

Kirby and Hernandez created a Facebook event and invited about 150 people. Within an hour and a half, Hernandez said 600 people had joined the event and more than 3,000 people had been invited. Todd Jones, Kirby’s roommate and history senior, was one of the initial people promoting the campaign. He said they were all surprised to see its growth.

“We just thought it was going to be between us, between friends of ours, 20-30 people that we know,” Jones said. “We did not think that over a thousand people would
be coming.”

The campaign to make the stadium loud comes on the eve of what Kirby said could be UT’s biggest game of the season. Both the Longhorns and the Mountaineers are entering Saturday night’s game undefeated.

Longhorn quarterback David Ash had the best game of his career against OSU last weekend, where he went 30-37 with more than 300 yards. Meanwhile the New York Times has called West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith the “Heisman front-runner.” Smith has completed 20 touchdown passes this season, eight of which were made against Baylor last weekend.

“I think this is one of our tougher games, if not the toughest game,” Hernandez said. “West Virginia is a really good program, and no one has been able to stop that offense led by Geno Smith.”

Hernandez said he hopes the campaign will boost the noise in the stadium Saturday night.

“The crowd can affect the game in such a small way, like forcing a team to call a timeout just because they can’t hear the game,” Hernandez said. “If we can make them really nervous in just one play, it will be a job well done.”

Since the campaign started, the hashtag has circulated to the Twitter accounts of UT footballl players, The Daily Texan, UT’s Dean of Students and the Longhorn Network.

“I think after this experiment, social media has a bigger role to play in sports than I originally assumed, especially for college sports,” Kirby said. “So many college kids are on Facebook and Twitter, and it’s a great way to get enthusiasm out.”

The Longhorns play the Mountaineers Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Kirby said he wants fans to tweet the hashtag, be loud and stay for the entire game.

Printed on Friday, October 5, 2012 as: Vaccaro's comments create noise campaign