Saturday proved to be a good football game. A beautiful day, a close Badger victory, and, even for advocates of eliminating the “Eat Shit, Fuck You,” the profanity seemed more subdued; perhaps because there was actually a good game to watch. Could it have gotten any better? Yes, it could have. We could have sat down.
Although I admit to having only a few friends who are very seriously invested in Badger football, I can say with utmost certainty I have yet to meet one person who has rejected my belief that football games would be more fun if the students sat down. Many more contend the game would be exponentially more fun if we could sit down and drink a beer, but now is the time to advance realistic causes.
Why do people stand up in the first place? Because they’re too excited to stay seated? Frankly, the biggest fans in the stadium — the alums for whom Badger games represent a time before everything got so unbearably boring — are probably in the regular seats, where they sit, not stand.
What’s worse is the few times when students do get to sit — during half time or when we do that thing where you shake the person in front of you back and forth — the bleachers are often too filthy to sit comfortably on. They’re muddy from shoes and sticky with spilt soda.
Where did standing up start? I’m convinced the tradition of standing shares its source with another great American tradition: the traffic jam. Just as one car slows down to take a peek at an accident, standing was probably started when one guy in 1935 stood up to get a better view of a gruesomely injured player being carried off the field. He stood up, blocking his neighbors behind him. Having paid good money to witness bloodshed, they stood up as well. The rest is history. Or at least my best guess at it.
Although, as stated before, I have never met somebody who opposes the idea of sitting at games, one could make the argument standing is the only way for some to stay awake after a hearty pregame. I simply disagree — if anything, standing, especially in miserable heat, only brings on the fatigue faster.
There are two more arguments against sitting down. One is it takes up more bleacher space than feet. Sorry UW, but your ass is fat. In addition, sitting down would make it harder for people to move out of their seats to use the restrooms and whatnot. These criticisms of my plan are fair, but not nearly as important as the overarching goal my policy promotes: to watch a game and enjoy it in utter relaxation.
I would also make the argument sitting down promotes shared human warmth during the colder months, but given the current concerns about swine flu, we can forget about that point. Pretend you didn’t read it.
Ideally, the push for “seating reform” would come from a strong grassroots movement of students who insist on sitting down, and attempt to start a chant to force others to follow suit: “Everybody sit down.” Over time, it might catch on.
However, the task could probably be accomplished with the strong helping hand of the UW administration. For starters, they could designate a certain portion of the seats as sitting and other as standing. At least try one section — say, P.
There are more democratic options if UW finds tyranny distasteful. If enough people sign a petition, will they put a request on the big screen for us? In fact, if they’re really interested in getting rid of the profane student chants, maybe they ought to find a substitute: “Sit down, shut up.” The result may be one side of the student section would sit down and other would stand.
I know I’m not the only one. Those of you out there who’ve ever left a game early because of a leg cramp, heat stroke or a strong desire to sit on a bar stool, make yourselves heard. Stand up for your right to sit.