“Win or lose, we booze.”
The Battle Hymn of the Republic for many college-age football
fans around the nation. It’s a rally ’round the loudest fan – an
almost national mantra spanning from hyped-up fraternity members,
to college burnouts, to even the most casual of football fans and
And so it goes – your team blows them out, celebrate the win
with booze; your team gets blown out by them, drown your sorrows in
booze. But never has the motto been so shamefully manifested as it
was last Saturday night at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes
One must have some sliver of interest in the team for the maxim
to be relevant. It’s a motto reserved for those who are down when
their team is down, and for those who, to borrow a saying from the
great Jack Tempchin of Eagles songwriting fame, get a “peaceful
easy feeling” when they’re up.
Such was not the case last Saturday, when our very own CSU Rams
took on the nationally ranked No. 19 Minnesota Golden Gophers.
As throngs of inebriated students (certainly not all, but many)
poured into Hughes Stadium, the atmosphere seemed electric. The
students were dressed to the nines like little Cinderellas and
Prince Charmings ready to go to some sort of third-rate,
People talked about Minnesota’s ground game, CSU’s defense and
how they thought the Rams could “contend.” It was absolutely
awesome – a first-rate display of school spirit. A few people
cheered that they “were proud to be a CSU Ram,” but my guess is
that for many the delight was short-lived.
Despite what appeared to be a most righteous demonstration by
the fans, the tone of the event soon did a complete about-face.
As the ceremonial jeering of the opposing team died down, a
couple of smaller cheers began to arise. But, as if materialized
from the quasi-silent abyss, one cheer began an acute ascent above
“Here we go,” I thought, “my favorite cheer – the ‘clap, clap,
clap-clap-clap, clap, clap, clap-clap,’ Joey Ramone-inspired,
‘Let’s GO!’ cheer.”
To my disdain, however, the first real cheer that had caught any
substantial, organized student backing was “Bring the booze back to
Never mind that the teams were lined up for kickoff.
Never mind that the Rams were about to play their third big game
in a row.
Never mind that the majority of these people had had more than
their fill of booze in the parking lot only minutes before.
The only thing they could think about was beer. And although
understandable to a college student who himself has rather
“fundamental” desires (read: “likes to booze with the best of
them”), it still seemed a sad physical salute to the real reason so
many people come to the games.
Drinking is, without a doubt, a big part of any college football
game. It’s part of the fun. Without it, thousands of people would
not enjoy themselves half as much as they would otherwise.
But drinking is not why we go to the games.
A football game definitely is a party, but it is different in
that it is centered on a single, unifying theme: The Game.
We go to the stadium to watch the CSU football team in,
according to the past three weekends, not-so-hard-fought battles.
If “bring the booze back to Hughes,” (followed by the prodigiously
epic, “We want beer” chant) is the best thing the CSU student
population has to offer, maybe our school truly has fallen upon
After sifting through this admittedly pretentious diatribe,
students on the other side of the issue might feel compelled to
respond with another point of view. I urge you to save your breath
– you’re preaching to the converted.
I, like many others, think CSU President Larry Penley’s decision
to ban beer sales at the stadium is completely bogus. An empty
token of a decision has been made by a fraught and floundering
president trying to gain some sort of respectability from a
community that has taken it away. True, strong leaders must make
tough decisions in tough times, but Penley’s decision was a
desperately pathetic attempt at flexing his administrative muscle –
and I think it was wrong.
But let’s be honest, no one chanting “We want beer” was in
anyway intelligently petitioning for the safe and supervised
distribution of beer in Hughes Stadium.
If that was indeed your aim, I hope that you attended the
Associated Students of CSU-sponsored rally Monday on the
Administration Building steps. The students who attended that rally
were there to, as their flier stated, “respectfully show the
administration (their) perspective.”
No one will deny that the football games are supposed to be fun.
They are, without a doubt, the biggest and most entertaining
parties any of us will ever attend. But as a fan of football, I
believe attending a game demands a certain bit of responsibility.
How about we concentrate on bringing the fans back to Hughes?
If you are solely concerned with drinking (and I find nothing
wrong with that), stay home. If you want to have a good time while
supporting Rams athletics, come to the games.
Hell, win or lose we booze, right? I think we can all drink to
John P. Walsh is a sophomore technical journalism major. His
columns will appear in the Collegian every other Tuesday beginning