I wrote a passionate article at the beginning of the season about our fan base (more specifically our students) changing the words to our fight song to a phrase that is not exactly appropriate.
This time I am coming to y’all with the same sort of problem, but on a broader range. The language that was directed at Baker Mayfield and the entire team of Oklahoma this past Saturday night was ugly, disgusting, and disrespectful. Not only disrespectful to the opposing team, but disrespectful to the image that Texas Tech University wants to portray.
I am all for being competitive, rowdy, and passionate, but we certainly crossed a line this past weekend. I’m not just gonna harp on the OU game, because it’s in the past, I’m more focused on changing the trend for the future.
For all of those who read this I have a question for you. What does it mean to be a Texas Tech fan? Loyalty, dedication, passion, and pride. Those are the first things that come to mind when I answer that question. Take a second and answer it for yourself. One thing that being a fan of a team doesn’t require is hate for your opponent. Now before you scroll down and leave me a nasty comment, let me finish. I get it, Oklahoma and Texas are two of our biggest rivals, but loving Texas Tech doesn’t mean that you have to chant profanities at the visiting team.
I’m not saying that I am the biggest Tech fan that you will ever meet, but I consider myself a die-hard Texas Tech fan. From a very early age I was born, bred, and corn fed Texas Tech. However, when it comes to game day, you won’t hear me yelling profanities at the opposition, you will just hear me cheering my face off for the team and for the school that I love. Cursing out the other team or chanting obscene gestures at them doesn’t make you more of a fan, it makes you rude.
I’m not sure what needs to be said or done in order for our students to change their language inside the stadium, but one thing that might work is if Fox, ESPN, or any other major sports network refuses to air our games. If we become known as the university that audibly chants profane phrases during national broadcasts, the amount of nationally televised night games will begin to dwindle, and they will dwindle quickly. Even if it is a huge game, or a fierce rivalry, networks don’t want that because it makes them look bad as well. I don’t know how much control the university has over the times of the games, but if Kirby Hocutt makes it known that the reason why we have all six home games at 11am is because of our students’ profanities we might see a decrease in the vulgarity of the fans. That might work, because if there is anything that a college student hates more than paying for textbooks, it might be waking up early on Saturday mornings. However, it could also backfire with a sharp decrease in attendance rate.
I look forward to finding out what was said in the meeting between the President and the Athletic Director, because there are a lot of different ways they could go to resolve this issue, but it is still a delicate balance of cleaning up our university’s game day image, and not turning away our student following.
I have watched the entire replay of our game against Oklahoma last Saturday, and I was honestly embarrassed. It’s one thing for a parent to bring their 10 year old to a Tech game and hear that kind of language because you can’t control everything around you, but when a parent that is simply trying to watch a game on TV has to explain to his kid what “F*** you Baker” means as it is being chanted by thousands of people, things have gone too far. I get that football is like a religion in this part of the country, and I get that we can’t expect a football stadium to be a church (meaning no cursing), but cussing out our opponent on Saturday’s doesn’t make you any better of a fan. Some may actually say it makes you worse of a fan. No one likes a classless fan base, and that’s what we are becoming known as.
Clearly Texas Tech officials are making an effort to change the trend and turn the reputation of our fan base around because they have issued statements regarding the behavior of our fans. I for one will totally support whatever policy they implement. Unfortunately, no matter how much the university does to change things, nothing will get better until each and every one of us gets better. If we as students care about how we make Texas Tech look, we will change. Change starts with one person, and it starts now.
I know I’m going to get a lot of heat for this, whether it’s people calling me fascist for trying to change their ways, or thinking I’m trying to limit their freedom of speech. Just like I got when I wrote about our fight song, but that’s fine. Like I said before, if trying to respect the school that I love and portraying a good image for this great university makes me a fascist then oh well, I’ll take it.
For those of y’all who care about their game day etiquette, I applaud you. For people who are unsure as to what appropriate game day behavior is I encourage you to attend the Texas Tech Men’s Basketball Student Section gathering today at 5:30 inside the United Supermarkets Arena. This is an opportunity to share your ideas about how we can be the best student section is college basketball and the best student section in general. Passion is a great thing, but it can also be a dangerous thing if it has no boundaries or direction.
Let’s work together to change the culture at football games from hate for the other team to passion for our own. It all starts with you. Be the change that you want to see happen. #StriveForHonor