Sep 232004
 
Authors: John P. Walsh

“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

general partiers.

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

Stadium.

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,

green-and-gold ball.

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

the rest.

“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

Hughes!”

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

hard times.

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

that.

John P. Walsh is a sophomore technical journalism major. His

columns will appear in the Collegian every other Tuesday beginning

Oct. 5.

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