Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Just Stop the Boorishness, Please

Tonight, instead of watching the BCS championship game, I had an offer to go watch my alma mater, Georgetown, play a home game against one of its Big East rivals in Villanova. Unfortunately, I came away feeling disappointed - yeah, a lot of it had to do with the Hoyas' close loss in a game they led rather comfortably at halftime. (And though the Florida-Ohio State romp wasn't much of a contest, I wish I could have seen at least a little bit of that history take place.)

But the biggest reason I had a sour taste in my mouth was because some of the Georgetown cheering section, believe it or not. I'm no dummy - I know that jeering the opponent is a huge part of being a fan, especially when it's a rivalry game like this one is. But there have to be some restraint involved, or else you come away looking like an idiot, which some of our fans did.

My pet peeve among the moronic insults is screaming "Bullshit!" at the top of your lungs to any call that goes against the home team. Hey, believe it or not, the home team does commit fouls every once in a while. Instead of priming yourself to shout that out every time the whistle blows, why not try to watch the game instead? And how does that chant of "bullshit" come off to the other fans in the stadium who aren't students? There are plenty of families attending with their children - it's just not appropriate in this venue.

And how about chanting "You suck!!"to cap off one of those jaunty little tunes that the band plays? Yeah...not so effective when you're losing the game. Gotta pick your spots for that classy insult. At least some of the fans around me noticed, and said something to the effect of, "Yeah, but we're sucking more than they are now."

I was especially shocked by what the Georgetown booster club left for the students when they arrived at their seats. On each chair was a sheet of paper that was essentially a forum for taking low-level pot shots against Villanova. On it, it called one of Villanova's freshmen a "white stiff" and coach Jay Wright "a greasy guy." That was really disappointing to me because unlike a few individuals acting like morons, this was a bunch of mean-spirited messages with the Georgetown name affixed to them. That makes the institution look bad, which is a shame because most of the students at the game probably were more interested in cheering on the Hoyas than tearing down Villanova.

When you have to resort to ripping the opponent rather than devoting your energy to supporting your own team, you look desperate and classless - which isn't how I usually think of Georgetown.

1 comment:

Johnny said...

You're absolutely right. I think Duke and Maryland basketball in the media has changed the way Americans view the way fans should act. Just because Duke fans are inherently belligerent and unknowledgeable doesn't mean that all fans should be. Just because the hoodlum fans of Maryland who consistently riot and burn sofas after key wins or losses scream "You Suck" after what was originally a positive and happy song, doesn't mean the rest of the country should. And it definitely doesn't mean Georgetown should. First of all, Maryland is our local rival, and anything that their fans do, even if it is the best and most clever sort of cheering, should not be emulated by Georgetown fans. We must come up with something original and better. But the fact that Georgetown fans scream "You Suck" with hatred in their eyes at all our opponents from our most bitter rivals to Ball State whom we played because our coaches are brothers and we had a scheduling issue is absolutely absurd. It is rude, offensive, and it shines poorly on our university and our basketball program.

I was even more upset with the "Hoya Rival Reels" contest that the Athletic Department just established. The idea is to create a video that will be shown on the jumbotron and the best one will earn the makers 4 tickets to the Big East Tournament plus accommodations. http://guhoyas.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/hoya-rival-reels.html. It's not a bad idea, and it's a good way of embracing the new media and user-content culture that has been propelled by YouTube. However, the idea isn't to make a motivating video, or a clever video, but to "talk your best smack about one of our rivals." Not necessarily the worst idea, but when you take into account that the average student at Georgetown is the one that Sami mentioned, who prefers to scream "You Suck" at our friendly opponents and teams that are outplaying us, who prefers to yell at opposing coaches to "Sit Down" as if it is not their job to pace the sidelines and provide instruction and talk with the referees like our coach does, and who prefers to chant "BULLSHIT" at all calls against the Hoyas than to uplift the team positively, to criticize the referees with some sense of the game of basketball, and to actually pay attention to the game and care about the team, then you can see where this video contest will lead. The two videos they showed about Villanova were what you would expect in terms of amateurish video and audio quality, but the content was also poor. The first video wasn't too bad: Georgetown kids picking on the Villanova fan, and then they convert him to a Hoya. The second video, though, was ridiculous, just trying to insult Villanova students on their intelligence and poor basketball ability when what it should have been doing was mocking Georgetown students for their poor movie making ability. Georgetown basketball has traditionally been superior to Villanova basketball and the fact that the best video we can make involves people dumping water on a Villanova fan is absurd. I only hope that Georgetown does not select a degrading and offensive video to be the winner of this contest.

I've written too much.

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