Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You know what really grinds my gears...

A bad student section. Now, I don't want to put forth any names, but the school this applies to goes by a name that starts with "S" and ends with "aline." Certain football fans have carried on throughout the fall season managing to wear every color but their teams'. Let's just say, for example, and this is just a "for instance," that the schools' colors are blue and yellow. Now let's say the student section wore green for game one, black for game two (which happened to be the color of their opponents' jerseys), white the next, etc. On Halloween, the date of the first playoff game, the student section mainly wore costumes. This is acceptable. Those who weren't in costumes were not overwhelmingly decked out in their schools' apparel. That is unacceptable.

Why is this happening? Why is a student section attending games so thoroughly and relentlessly each week, but refusing to wear the teams' colors? A mom proudly reported to me once that the children have organized to wear a different color in unison each week. Um, that's obvious, but why? Shouldn't the student section be supporting the team as best it can, especially now that the team has had a turnaround season and is likely going to continue to succeed?

Obviously not all students can be grouped into this absolutely. But let's just say there is a very large number of individuals following the herd and doing what they're told. I decided early on to give the questionable group the benefit of the doubt, and observed their cheering behavior instead. Because if they're dressing in the wrong colors, fine, as long as they're doing it to unify themselves and are cheering for the team. That's the whole point, after all. The colors don't matter; the support does. Unfortunately, the games really are about the clothes. The group doesn't really cheer. Not a peep. Except for when it's time for the cheerleaders to do their "we cheer louder" bit, in which the cheerleaders and fans go back and forth pseudo-arguing about who is the better fan.

I've got that answer: it's definitely not you, students. The group's faithful cheerleaders threw them candy on Halloween. This is despite the fact that, frankly, they didn't deserve the candy because the parents were a louder and more excited crowd. Then, to improve upon their reputation even more, they chucked the candy pieces back at the cheerleaders while the girls were tumbling and hoisting one another. Yeah, that's not dangerous... let's throw hard candy pieces that we didn't deserve at the only group of students actually cheering while they hold one another on their shoulders. That'll send the message...

So, students. I know football games are fun and social and probably an excuse to party later on... but let's try to make an effort tomorrow. Your team plays Canton in the District finals. It'd be nice if you wore your schools' colors and cheered a bit. You have a trio of players that are putting up better numbers than this school has seen in years. It would be a shame if that moment was wasted on an unappreciative fan base. But, hey, there's always the parents. They appreciate it and are willing to use cowbells, foghorns, stomping, yelling and the like.

... and that's what really grinds my gears.


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