It’s not spirit, it’s just rude
Published: Sunday, November 22, 2009
Updated: Sunday, November 22, 2009 17:11
Last week, we ran a letter from a UCF fan disgusted by the behavior of other UCF fans attending an away game. We also ran a stance explaining that it was just part of a whole trend of letters we receive about Knights fans spoiling the game with belligerent antics.
Since then, we've heard from a few folks defending the kind of behavior that prompts these complaints, mostly defending it as a part of the competitive spirit that drives college football games. Ultimately, our foils seemed of a mind that the behavior we described was not only worth encouraging but was rather par for the course.
Well, we're afraid they're just plain wrong. According to the most recent college football poll by Sports Illustrated, college football fans said UCF has the rudest fans in C-USA.
UCF led by an almost 20-percent margin in the survey, with the University of Southern Mississippi in second place. The question wasn't who was the most intimidating, who has the most spirit or who hosts a great game; they asked who was the rudest, and UCF won — decisively.
This doesn't so much prove our point as much as it enhances it. There isn't much room left for more support of what we've been saying; if you want to go to a football game to curse, fight and antagonize fans of the other team, stay home.
This is the last piece of the puzzle that should make it clear that the belligerent Knights are a disgrace to the university.
This is especially crucial because of the growing success of the Knights football program.
The team has made it to two bowl games and is on the way to a third. It is getting about two or three games per season nationally televised. The program needs to be known for victory on the field, not obnoxious fans.
So, fans — you know who you are — take a look at what you've won us. It's not about showing civility and hospitality to the other fans; a real fan makes his school and his team look good.
If the sticking point of the argument for rudeness is that it's standard — clearly it isn't. Even other football fans said we have a surplus of ill will.
If your last hope to rationalize being a jerk is that it's supporting the team — you're not. The data is in, and we have a bad reputation coming our way. Thanks to the belligerent Knights, we don't look like a school that loves the team and loves the game, we just look rude.
Some of the blame for this misunderstanding goes to us here at the Future. Perhaps we didn't make it abundantly clear that the letter we printed — which was a reaction to booing at an inappropriate time — was one of the more tame letters we've seen.
Since the opening game versus the Longhorns in 2007, we've heard reports of opposing fans being urinated on, shoved in anger and stolen from.
Nobody expects you to roll out the red carpet for the visiting team or give the fans of the opposition a daisy and a hug.
It is perfectly fine for fans to yell, cheer and chant, and it usually isn't warm and fuzzy sentiments that get sent to the other side.
However, there is a line between being competitive and being rude, and we're on the wrong side.