Oct 232003
Authors: Marika Krause

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

United Nations.

Tag: Marika Krause is a senior majoring in technical journalism.

She is the music director for KCSU. Her column runs every other





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