Jan 262009

Webster defines loyalty as “a feeling or attitude of devoted attachment and affection. Often used in the plural.” It is in this sense that I’ve come to question the values of the current generations of young adults.

In the recent presidential election and recently concluded CSU football season, it has become obvious that the majority of young people place their faith and loyalty in politicians, while the students of CSU demonstrate significantly less loyalty and faith for their own football team. I question any vote cast for either a Republican or a Democrat; however, recent events proved to me that young people have a misplaced sense of loyalty and responsibility.

By throwing their support to Barack in such a fervent manner, liberals and young voters compromised their ability to criticize his performance objectively. Therein lies the problem.

Unlike the Vietnam generation, who learned to never trust the government (ironically the same generation currently running it into the ground), today’s 18 to 30-year-olds throw their complete blind faith behind a man unproven.

Despite the fact that the most redeeming trait held and demonstrated by Dubya in election years was that he wasn’t Al Gore or John Kerry, the blind faith demonstrated by conservatives in the last eight years helps to prove my point.

Politicians do not deserve the unquestioned loyalties of voters. They may, for whatever reason, earn their vote, but that’s where the loyalty must end.

Today’s politicians believe themselves beyond reproach for their actions. We witnessed a great deal of finger pointing by Democrats and Republicans during the economic collapse; fact of the matter is anyone holding office was at least partially responsible for the fiasco, and yet a great number of them were reelected Nov. 4. Loyalties should be based on fact and experience, not blind devotion.

Paying attention while walking from one class to another here at CSU will bear up one very strange fact, the loyalties of the students here are weak.

Walk around Penn State, Nebraska, Florida, even Texas, I’m betting you will see a dominance of that school’s colors. In five minutes here last week I saw apparel from not only CSU, but also teams in the Big-12, SEC, and PAC-10.

Further proof of our lack of loyalty was the attendance at both the New Mexico Bowl, and the attendance of the CSU home games last fall. Where does undying loyalty to schools other than the one you currently attend originate?

Homecoming generated the best turnout last fall, and still didn’t come close to filling the stadium. Here’s a sports tip for you folks: crowds affect games.

A great crowd (i.e. the Fenway Faithful in the 2007 World Series) can take a game away from the visitors before the game starts. A good crowd (i.e. the modern day Mile High wine-sippers) can at least occasionally disrupt the flow of the visitors’ game plan.

The crowd sizes for CSU home games last year barely allowed for a neutral field, and the team still almost managed to upset BYU. If you don’t attend games when the team is rebuilding, you have no loyalty and shouldn’t start scamming tickets when they become successful.

Here’s some food for thought, CU-Boulder enrolls only 4,000 or so more students annually than CSU, yet their game attendance exceeds 20,000 people more per game. Their record over 12 games was 5-7, ours was 6-6 and we got a bowl game.

Which team more deserves an intelligent, loud, crazy, boisterous, unquestioning crowd at home games? (Hint: it’s not the team located in the People’s Republic of Boulder.)

What we need is better judgment. What happens on the football field is largely irrelevant for the big picture, what your elected representative does is quite the opposite.

Throwing your unquestioned loyalty behind a politician is idiotic, throwing your unquestioned loyalty behind your university’s football team is necessary, both for your character as a person, and for the success of the team.

Seth Stern is a freshman undeclared major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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