By Adam Gaub
assistant sports editor
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 29, 2005
The Arizona football team's Sept. 17 loss against Purdue was difficult to take, but not because of any muffed punt, dropped pass or false-start penalty.
Rather, it was difficult to stand in the student section's "sea of red" and feel proud of being a student here at Arizona.
We're about as creative in our football chants as a brick wall. Everything revolves around profanity - and most of the time, it's not even a clever attempt at using it.
Chanting "F-k Purdue" after each of their four touchdowns was ingenious. We're clearly competing with the likes of Stanford and California for some of the wittiest ways to insult the opposing team.
I won't even go into the rant on how degrading the word "pussy" is towards women because I saw quite of number of girls using it recurrently on Saturday. I chalk that one up to people no longer caring how ironically idiotic half of the stuff they're chanting is.
It was great to see the stadium packed in support of the team, but it often seemed too much like we, as students, were supporting nothing more than our own stupidity.
The most disturbing thing for me was the halftime game between the two Pee Wee football teams, the Rams and the Chargers.
Here was the big moment for these kids - getting to play in an eight-minute scrimmage on the field at Arizona Stadium, in front of a capacity crowd - guaranteed to be one of the most lasting sports memories these elementary school-age kids will have.
The fans who hadn't left their seats for sodas or snacks got behind whichever team made a good play, making it a great atmosphere for the kids - that is until the Purdue mascot decided to saunter along the sideline in front of the Arizona student section.
Gone were the cheers for the young warriors on the field, running end sweeps in football helmets half as big as their entire bodies. In its place was a vibrant chorus of "F-k Purdue" and various other curses directed at the Boilermaker Special.
The students should be ashamed of themselves. There is simply no excuse for such asinine behavior, no matter how much alcohol may have been involved.
Parents of these young football players should still be incensed over the stupidity of our students and should be given ticket refunds for the game. Their kids' 15 seconds of fame were ruined by a student section full of insensitive jerks.
College is not a free pass to do whatever feels right - as a student body, we should take on pride in showing enough restraint and respect to shield excited young football players from such a disgusting display of vulgarity.
We've got two weeks before the team returns from its trek of doom at California and USC to face off against Stanford on Oct. 15. Maybe we can spend that time thinking up ways to mock the Cardinal without resorting to simple four-letter profanity.
Make fun of the Tree, which is by far the dumbest mascot in the conference.
Mess with the duo of Stanford quarterbacks; they have two because, apparently, neither one wants to step up and be the man.
Or make fun of where they come from: Palo Alto, Calif., might as well be "Pale Alto" with as many white boys as they have running around on their team each year.
Don't think that I'm completely ignorant - swearing at the opposing team is becoming a huge part of sports, whether it be football, basketball or underwater basket weaving.
What it comes down to is a lack of respect for those in the stands who wish to enjoy a game without needing earphones and a loss of humanity.
This was most evident when Purdue quarterback Brandon Kirsch was injured on a running play in the second half. The student section erupted in a roar egged on by Arizona equipment managers, players and assistant coaches that included numerous shouts by students calling Kirsch a "pussy" while the Purdue training staff attended to him on the field.
There could be a chance to make Arizona Stadium one of the most intimidating places for visiting teams to play, because the crowd has fallen in love with Stoops' Troops and is backing them in full throat each Saturday.
What a refreshing change it would be if we could be more creative and less vulgar in our taunts of the other team, if we could reserve some silence when an opposing player goes down and if we could not ruin the eight minutes of glory for young athletes with language that would make even a rock star blush.
Adam Gaub is a journalism senior. He can be reached at email@example.com.