fbcrowd_LK

POINT:

Sorry, University of Wisconsin Athletics, but I don’t think an email is going to stop your least favorite cheer. Especially one that makes largely banal and easily refutable points. Let’s take them one at a time.

Children under 18 should not be subjected to vulgarity at a football game.

Story time: I went to a Packers vs. Bears game at Soldier Field when I was 12 and got called an asshole by a man at least as old as my dad. That’s kind of part of the deal when you show up for games. And language is by no means the most destructive thing you can observe during America’s favorite sport.

From sexualized cheerleaders at both the college and pro level to fans beating the shit out of each other as part of some weird Californian ritual, football has never been an entirely wholesome pastime. Even the sport itself hinges on violence – how many times per game do you shout, “Hit him!” at the top of your lungs?

Aside from the ridiculous notion that football is made for children, there is also a flaw in the idea that our football stadium is the place where Madison’s children are being corrupted. Let your kids walk anywhere downtown, send them to public school, hell, just turn on your television and you can hear phrases worse than eat shit and fuck you. At least at a football game you’re sitting next to them and you can tell them not to repeat what they’re hearing.

TV cameras have to be removed from the student section every time we begin.

Have you ever watched a college football game on television? If you have you’ll have noticed shots of the student section occur very occasionally, usually at the very end or beginning of a commercial break. ESFU tends to happen once, maybe twice per game, and it doesn’t last longer than a minute or two. This lost footage due to vulgar cheers is not critical. Don’t try to sell it as otherwise.

Madison and Camp Randall are seen as unwelcoming and classless because of ESFU and other profane cheers.

There is a lot more that makes a game experience than two minutes of profanity. Certainly there will be a few people who these moments stick with, but for the most part people remember the friendly banter during tailgates, the level of excitement Badger fans show both in and out of the stadium and the incredible marching band/mascot shows/countless other game time traditions. These are the reasons Madison has consistently been rated one of the best places to see a game, even with ESFU.

Do I love ESFU? Do I really get my rocks off by telling people they fucked up? Of course not. Frankly, I could take or leave the cheers. But I do not think students are hurting the university’s reputation in any way by continuing their rowdy behavior. If UW wants to stop our shouting, they’ll have to be a hell of a lot more convincing than they were in yesterday’s email.

Carolyn Briggs ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in English.

COUNTERPOINT: At UW, school spirit is something we wear with pride. We dutifully don red, sell out the student section at games and post pictures of ourselves with Bucky on facebook. Yes, we love our Badgers, as long as we’re belligerent.

I hate to break it to everyone, but getting up at 7 am to be wasted at the game by 9 is not a typical “U Rah Rah.” While partying is an essential part of game day, flocking to the student section to drunkenly scream obscenities at the other team and each other is not something to be proud of.

While most students rolled their eyes at the email from Barry Alvarez and Bret Bielema (if they read it at all), the coaches did have a point: Slinging f-bombs makes us look bad. However, the coaches erred in thinking anyone in the student section would care.

For most game goers, the ESFU chant is a staple, right up there with “Jump Around” and “Sweet Caroline.” The call and response slips off the tongue as naturally as the word “asshole” for any non-Badger fan dumb enough to be in the student section. There is nothing wrong with using profanity in daily speech, but in the student section, we don’t just say it, we scream it.

We scream it so the other team can hear us. We scream it so the fans way up in section AA can hear us. We scream it so loud ESPN has to get cameras out of the student section. And for those who don’t like it, we say fuck you.

What the student section often forgets is that it makes up a small percentage of fans in Camp Randall and an even smaller percentage of viewers nationwide. Yes, the Badgers are “our” team, but our game day actions and words travel well beyond campus. So sure, shaming fans into cleaner language for the sake of children seems laughable, but avoiding four letter words for donors is a much more serious issue.

While current students pay tuition, it is alumni who donate money to the football program. Without their support, our cherished football team may not be the Big 10 darling it is today. As loath as we are to admit, the football program brings both money and students to this school. To be blunt, we can’t afford to piss alumni off simply because we like our vulgar little cheer.

Both UW and alumni have largely turned a blind eye to game antics, punishing only those drunk and disorderly beyond accepted game day norms. Requesting students refrain from screaming a profane chant that, frankly, is pretty weak as chants go is not too much to ask.

If we truly want to support our Badgers, embarrassing them in front of a national audience on game day is not the way to do it. So save the ESFU for the tailgate; the football team says it well enough with its game-winning touchdowns.

Allegra Dimperio ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in journalism.