â€œLong Beach sucks, Long Beach sucks!â€ A quiet chant breaks out amongst the crowd at first, until the thunderous roar of the fans overpowers the music, and collective body of students, family, friends, the Orange Curtain and long time fans all join in â€œLong Beach sucks, Long Beach sucks!â€
In 1974, the Cal State Fullerton Titans entered the Big West Conference whereas Long Beach State joined in 1969. Although Long Beach has been around longer in the Conference, Fullerton remains number one out of all the teams to have the most Division I National Championships, at 14, while Long Beach has only acquired 4.
What makes these games so unique is the number of people in attendance whether it is in the Titan Gym or on the 49ers home turf; everyone knows both teams have come to play. But what makes these games so special for the athletes?
Menâ€™s basketball player and senior shooting guard Devon Peltier said playing Long Beach State is personal, unlike playing any other school.
â€œCSUF and Long Beach State are two rival powerhouses that have a lot of animosity and competitiveness against both schools,â€ Peltier said.
Peltier said the sports teams are always head-to-head and because of how close the schools are to one another, the rivalry builds.
When playing against LBSU, there is constant badgering from not only the crowd in the stands, but from the players on the court as well.
â€œThey talk a lot of shit and always have something to say,â€ Peltier said, â€œthey know you and call you out by name.â€
On the ice, itâ€™s the same story. â€œLong Beach State and CSUF are super close to each other and there is always the battle of whoâ€™s better,â€ said hockeyâ€™s sophomore center Jacob Daniel.
â€œNow that we have moved up in conference, weâ€™re conference rivals as well,â€ Daniel said.
Teammate, sophomore defensemen, Payne Sauer also said, â€œLong Beach is a lot better competition and we play each other a lot so that (rivalry) builds up.â€
Not only is there Conference rivalry, but also because both schools are in the Cal State system, a lot of athletes have grown up with Long Beach players.
â€œWeâ€™re both California schools and we have friends at both schools,â€ said hockeyâ€™s junior goalie, Alex Miller, â€œthere is a grudge that has always been there and a hidden rivalry ever since we were younger.â€
Freshman soccer goalkeeper Lindsey Maricic said she doesnâ€™t like the demeanor of the Long Beach soccer team and how they come out to play.
â€œI donâ€™t like the fact they think they can do anything they want and think they are the better team,â€ Maricic said.
On the volleyball court, that tension builds up and the rivalry gives extra incentive for the Titans to play to the best of their capabilities. â€œLong Beach is always the team at the top of our list to beat and we are the one underdog that can make them nervous,â€ said senior setter Genie Francisco.
â€œThey know that they have targets on their back no matter what team they play and especially now that we are ranked higher, they know that when they step on a court with us they need to really take care of business,â€ Francisco said.
With the growing tension and anticipation of these Cal State Fullerton versus Long Beach State games, the biggest asset the teams have is their fans backing them up and supporting them all the way.