Student Section Stifled

Rules Repress School Spirit

Isaac Rhodes and Lucas Robins

 

Sitting in the stands of Brebeuf basketball games last year, we felt a thorough enjoyment while watching the Braves play. The whole team was fired up and excited to compete, but the real intensity and enthusiasm came from our roaring student section; every home game was consistently packed with a mob of Brebeuf students loudly and proudly showing their spirit.

There was a certain freedom that we didn’t realize Braves had in our games until it was gone: the freedom to say almost anything.

In the past we could yell anything, from the traditional “I believe!” and “You can’t do that!” chants to our more creative taunts and mocks, such as our infamous “Wash our Bentleys!” or “SAT scores!” Over the years, our freedom to use creative and witty chants at sporting events has slowly been restricted due to their supposedly “inappropriate” and “unsportsmanlike” nature.

Admittedly, there have been times when our student section has gone too far, such as one occasion when an opposing player’s father was a former NBA player, and we taunted him for not being any good. In general, however, we knew where to draw the line in order to strike a balance between spirit and sportsmanship.

The freedom extended to what students wore to games as well. Students wore crazy and eccentric outfits to fit the game themes, but after years of students gradually pushing the envelope, we now have heavy restrictions on our student section’s dress code.

One Brebeuf basketball player voiced his opinion on the matter, stating, “I think that the student section should be monitored and curbed for inappropriate or offensive outfits and language to an extent, but a part of sports is that edgy and in-your-face behavior. Sports are all about competition and being superior to others, and if fans can’t express their satisfaction of their team and saying how their team is better, then it takes a part of the experience away from the game; it takes away the excitement.”

At Brebeuf, we clearly care a great deal about our athletics; our perfectly manicured sports fields and state-of-the-art exercise facility are proof of this. But if we’re going to care so much about athletics, shouldn’t we at least have fun with it? If our athletes are going to give 100% on the field or on the court, shouldn’t our students be allowed to go all out to support and encourage them?

Sports are emotional by nature; excitement, anger, joy, anxiety, and other strong feelings are an integral part of what makes athletics so enjoyable. But if we can’t extend the emotions from the players on the field to the students in the bleachers, then what’s the point of even having a student section?

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