Death Cab for Woody

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fan Behavior..and the Sea of Scarlet?

There are things that happen which will go unnoticed through the course of a college football season…Garret Rivas’ staggering donut consumption, Lydell Ross’ inability to hit a hole that wasn’t attached to a female freshman or sophomore, urine getting tossed on OSU’s TBDBITL last year at Happy Valley.

Oh wait…that’s right. Nobody in the state of Ohio forgot about the urine tossers in State College. Absolutely nobody. The fact is that this game has shown that no matter how high OSU fans will set the bar for poor fan behavior, we can always count on Penn State to pursue stupidity at a level of excellence with no equal.

Now, there is a contingent in the message board community that attempt to make this event from last year’s game out to be a non-issue (Even though this came directly from a band director, ,who just happens to be a PSU alum…not an OSU fan). Actually, there are a few that will tell you that it never happened. I mean, I will not name any names or anything ( FearandLoathinginWoolrich & Shundo), but this type of thinking has caused quite a stir among those OSU fans who may believe that John Q PSU fan gets off easy because of its lovable teddy bear corpse of a coach that hasn’t spoken a word of English since at least 1974. This has lead to a “Sea of Scarlet” promotion that wants to make a statement in the Horseshoe on Saturday, but also wants to make sure to let the PSU fans off easy who make the trip to Columbus.

Well, do you want to know what I think. Whatever happens…happens.

This “Sea of Scarlet” thingy is not who we are as OSU fans. I commend the students that have attempted to put this together. It is very noble but, WE DO NOT NEED GIMMICKS! If crap happens to PSU fans, then so be it. I am sure there will be cases where some of them deserve it and there will be some cases where they don’t. It is no worse than the treatment that any other fan receives at any other stadium in the Big10. Any of us who have been to a visiting stadium in the Big10 know that it is not a welcoming environment, and it never will be. With exception of Indiana, even the lowest of teams in the conference will have fans that will do their best to ensure that the visiting team is miserable and with the proper amount of “liquid courage” hometown fans will do their best to ensure that visiting fans that came to support their team will be miserable as well.

This is the way that it works. College sports is not youth soccer. It is not intended to have everyone play the game, get along, and share Sno-Cones and Swedish Fish after the game.

Notice that this is a red sno cone? Yellow Sno Cones are only found in Happy Valley...on gamedays

There are many examples of poor fan behavior in the Big10. OSU fans are obnoxious and I am not afraid to admit it, UM fans will tell you that they are above that type of behavior, but that could be the biggest crock of shit that you will ever hear. If you want to see a true “Michigan Man” in action, head down to Yost Arena (Click Here for a PG rated version of some of the activities that happen) and see how sportsmanship at Michigan really works. Head over to Wisconsin and listen to the “Asshole” cheer that most certainly stretches the standard 5 word vocabulary that is possessed by most Wisky fans. Michigan State fans are just like OSU fans, but they suck at football. However, basketball season is a different story, and you can throw Illinois into the same boat. Northwestern fans are generally pretty classy, but they are not your typical Big10 school. Indiana has obnoxious basketball fans…even though haven’t won anything in the last ten years (I am not sure how long it has been, but you would think that it had won the last 40 Big Ten championships if you have ever attended a basketball game in Bloomington).

This brings us back to Penn State. PSU fans have been treated to extreme forms of mediocrity in the Big10 since 1993. PSU had one season where it absolutely kicked the shit out of everyone (1994) and was moderately competitive throughout the the 90s. Then PSU had to suffer the consequences of not dictating its own schedule (It will be a great day when ND has to got through this scenario) and once the conference teams became accustomed to playing them each year…there was a big “UH OH” coming from Happy Valley. This lead to significant downgrade in team performance and it showed with a terrible 5-year stretch where it was just dreadful. I can understand the frustration. Hell, I would be uber-pissed if I had to endure what PSU fans did in the 2000’s. This frustration came to a head in 2005 when they had undefeated team that was taking on OSU, and the game was moved to the evening (1st Mistake…see above statement regarding “Liquid Courage,” as there were many “heroes” in Happy Valley that night.) The hype surrounding this game was ridiculous and I was never able to see it, as I was out in the Utah desert for a week without any access to TV or Radio. However, when I returned to Columbus I found out quicky what had transpired in State College and was not only disappointed with the loss, but was also disappointed when I watched a copy og the broadcast, as our resident Anti-homer Kirk Herbstreit was making statements on the crowd and how the atmosphere was simply electric. Well Kirk, with this type of environment comes consequences. We saw this happen on our own campus, as Texas fans were treated poorly. We had a university president that was willing to take a stand and apologize for the behavior of the fans…whether it was warranted or not. OSU ADMITTED it had a problem with fan behavior. Fast Forward to PSU game…same atmosphere…same behavior if not worse than at the Horseshoe. Were there big articles in the newspaper about it? No. Did the poor treatment of the OSU fans make it into the media’eye? Yes. Was it addressed by PSU? Absolutely not..and this is the problem that PSU is going to put itself into by not acknowledging the behavior that was documented. The university administration is basically stating that it is ok to act like a fucking moron and thow urine on a visiting team’s band, as it is simply part of the game.

By the way:

"With nearly 110,000 people attending the game, Penn State officials say it is possible there were "a couple jerks" among the fans."

This is not an apology.

Well, poor fan behavior is one thing; bodily fluids being thrown on fans or representatives of a fellow conference school is pathetic.

In other words, PSU is pathetic, as a university…as an institution that is attempting to groom another generation of leaders. Where does this start? University President for PSU. The same university president that allows this behavior also allows its head football coach to make derogatory statements about the inhabitants of a rival state/school and its education level on national television without any consequence. I know that there are a section of people that will say that is JoePa being JoePa…well….I think that JoePa has used all of his free passes by now, and what point will he make a Fisher DeBerry-type statement? Let’s face it, JoePa’s speaking ability rivals that of the “Ding! Fries are Done!” guy at this point, and to have him as the figurehead of a major university is probably the most pathetic part of the PSU aura today.

I have no idea where I am at right now. Where is my ice cream?... Is this coming out in english?

Does OSU have its problems? Absolutely. Do we have leaders that are willing to admit it? Yes. Am I proud of the university actions to attempt to fix the problems? Yes. Is there much more work to go into this effort? See Texas game this year. West Virginia is so jealous.

Are we Penn State? No….and thank goodness. So, to all of the fans at the game this weekend, enjoy yourself in the way that you are accustomed to enjoying OSU games. Don’t let the Sea of Scarlet make you go out of your way to make everyone feel comfortable. You take that away from the OSU psyche and the aura of Ohio Stadium will take a downturn with it. Just don’t throw any urine or large cups of “dip” spit or anything else I may be missing…that’s simply not cool.

Go Bucks!!!



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