By Sean Pullins
Thursday, November 28th, 2002
This weekend was a historic weekend for the scarlet and gray. The proverbial
monkey seems to have exited the Buckeye State. The Ohio State Buckeyes
have their first opportunity to play for the national championship since
1979. All these things were tarnished Saturday night in what has become a
negative trend in college sports today: fans unruly behavior after the game
Living on the OSU campus, the same message was heard over and over all week:
party responsibly. The famed Archie Griffin even went to the point
of taping a public service announcement to discourage bad behavior.
The fans and students were on good behavior after the game until the clock
struck midnight -- that's when chaos ensued. Parties broke out a couple of
streets from my house. The guests of these parties decided to pay homage
to the great season by burning what ever they could find. After that party
was broken up, the party moved to another street where celebrators decided
to flip and destroy dozens of cars by lighting them on fire. This was to
show support of OSU's big victory?
This type of behavior has started to become common in college football today.
On this same weekend, celebrations got out of hand on other school's campuses,
as well. In Pullman, Washington, arch-rivals Washington and
Washington State went to triple-overtime until Washington finally
came out on top victorious.
To show respect to both participants in a classic battle, the fans decided
to pelt the opposing Washington players with beer bottles and debris.
Barbara Hedges, the athletic director of Washington, even stated,
"I feared for my life after the debacle took place."
South Carolina, North Carolina, and California games
all had injuries resulting from fans tearing down goal posts after wins.
These incidents have become a party of the fanfare -- these used to be isolated
incidents, but this can't be said any longer.
I have been an avid sports fan since the age of 6 and never in celebrating
have I thought about burning a vehicle. This type of behavior is unacceptable.
The students at Ohio State who partook in the riots Saturday will be expelled
from school if found guilty, but will this deter future acts? I don't believe
It doesn't stop with the fans -- coaches are even getting in the act. In
a game between Miami (OH) and Marshall on November 12th, Marshall
made a great comeback to win the game. Assistant coaches Taver Johnson
and Jon Wauford destroyed the press box after the loss. Wauford even
went to the extent of assaulting a heckling fan that got in his face.
Football is a violent sport and has become the nation's past time. People
can still root for their team responsibly -- I know from watching the Bucks
all year that they have been a class act all year. It is just a shame their
fans have been anything but.
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