I recently wrote a letter about the distracting vulgarity I witnessed at the University of Wisconsin-Tennessee Tech football game during my recent visit to Madison.
I did not provide any possible solutions, but I have been thinking about this since my return to California. Here are my ideas.
1. Have a couple of Madison Fire Department trucks in the student end zone, and when they start this obscene chant, hose ‘em down! It’s hard to yell obscenities with a face full of high-pressure water.
2. Have the officials stop the game every time the chant begins. An official’s timeout would get their attention, especially if the timeout is charged to the Badgers.
3. Suspend the student section and allow no student ID admissions the following game. Sell the end zone seats at $20 each to anyone who wants one. I bet the end zone would fill up with people who would otherwise not get to attend a game. Students could attend, but only if they bought tickets.
There is a precedent for this. A couple of seasons ago the Badger marching band was suspended because of bad conduct.
Last year in the European FA Cup (soccer) fans were suspended for two games because of racial insults directed at the players. The teams played in totally empty stadiums.
4. When the chant first occurs in a game, your new football coach should call timeout, grab a field microphone, walk to the student section and address them directly. If he told them that this needs to stop immediately, he would get their attention and be seen by the UW fans and alumni as a man of high standards and character.
When I was a student at Sacramento State in the ’60s, I was at a basketball game when a fraternity brother of mine blew a loud plastic horn when an opponent was shooting a foul. In this era, there was no shouting, hooting or noisemaking when players were at the foul line. Things are much different now. This horn blast was very noticeable in an otherwise quiet gym.
I have never forgotten what the Sacramento State basketball coach did. He called time out, went to the scorer’s table, picked up the announcer’s microphone, walked out on the court and addressed the crowd. He made it clear that he thought interfering with an opponent’s free throw concentration was unsportsmanlike and unacceptable. If this happened again, the offenders would be ejected. He made his point to me very clearly. It did not happen again during my remaining years as a student.
Personally, I like solution No. 1 the best, but I think that No. 3 and No. 4 have the greatest chance of success.
I hope this obscene behavior is eliminated before my granddaughter becomes a Badger next September!
Peter Boam hosted the radio show “Peter B. and the Breakfast Bunch” on WIBA from 1982-’89.
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