In my fourth and final year of schooling at Colorado State
University I have set several goals for myself, not the least of
which is graduating. Aside from eating at restaurants considered
staples of the Fort Collins community and generics like streaking
the Lory Student Center Plaza and/or making more time for my
friends, I took a recent grad’s advice and made a pact to attend
every home football game. So far, I have been 100 percent
successful in this effort and the outlook is good that I will
complete this goal.
I love the rush of standing with thousands of other Rammies
cheering on our team (and the marching band-Go, Trombone Suicide!).
There is somewhat of a mentality and culture that comes with being
a sports fan and it is something that I’d never really been privy
to until this year’s goal. Although it may seem campy and a little
over the top, I think football and sports in general have many
parallels in other aspects of life. The wins, the losses and the
relationships built just by sharing something like the love of a
sport or team crosses over.
I think one of the most interesting examples of this crossover
is in the use of scapegoats. I’m sorry, but no matter how hard
Bradlee Van Pelt or any other player tries, or doesn’t, it is
impossible to blame them for the loss of the game. One player does
not have that much control over a game. I’m far from an expert on
matters in sports, so I turned to Tyler Krause (no relation) of The
Ramblers, KCSU’s sports talk show, and was not the least bit
surprised to discover this is not uncommon in sports.
“I think it happens anytime there’s a close game and it comes
down to the last second. Fans, especially fair-weather fans, get
angry at that player because in the heat of the moment it feels
like it is that player’s fault. No one cares that the whole team
takes part in it,” Krause said.
Take Marcus Houston’s fumble in the Utah game. We were tied in
the fourth and, as some would tell you, his fumble allowed the Utes
to score and ultimately win. Houston makes an easy scapegoat.
However one player cannot bring down the entire team. Another Ram
player could have scored before or after the fumble, or the defense
could’ve prevented a Utah touchdown. Any number of efforts could’ve
allowed CSU to win the game.
And Houston did make up for it. He’s had several touchdowns in
the games since.
Unfortunately, recoveries aren’t always that simple in other
aspects of life. Gray Davis is not the only person to blame for
California’s budget deficit. Last I checked, America was founded on
a system of checks and balances. Any other branch of California’s
government, including the media, which some would consider the
fourth branch, could’ve scored with some legislation or defended
with inquiries and energy and cost-saving tactics.
I have to say this is also true of President Bush, or former
President Clinton for that matter. No one person is responsible for
the state of the economy or our relations with other nations. There
is a history there and other factors beyond the control of our
current commander in chief.
This is not to say that these players, whether in politics or
sports, should not take individual responsibility. You better
believe Houston hears it from Sonny Lubick when he fumbles the
ball. But you’d better also believe that Houston works to improve
his game and that Lubick does his homework and understands that
other plays and players affect the outcome of the game.
We all need to recognize the importance of this. One nation, one
former or current president and one terrorist are not to blame for
all of America’s problems.
Despite the yelling and name-calling, it is in the best interest
of the coach, the fans and the citizens of America to do their
homework. Understanding that yelling at the one person who drops
the ball without analysis of other factors will not get you any
invitation, whether it be to a bowl game or a play date with the
Tag: Marika Krause is a senior majoring in technical journalism.
She is the music director for KCSU. Her column runs every other