Storm the field

We’ve all heard it before: be nice, play fair. With the Simpson-Central game impending, we’ve heard it again.

The football team is more than willing to play fair, but nice? That’s not really the point of football. As for the fans, they could be polite and supportive of the Dutch or they can honor the age-old tradition of the Simpson-Central rivalry.

A historic rivalry is one of the best ways to get school spirit pumped up, and Simpson’s school spirit is notoriously lackluster. At least the college can count on the Simpson-Central game to fill Buxton Stadium – other games, while they may have a good turnout, just aren’t as popular. Clearly, Simpson fans like the rivalry.

Unfortunately, the administration seems abnormally concerned about the Simpson-Central game. Some of the higher-ups have said the T-shirts are mean, the cheers are vulgar and the students’ attitudes are downright rude.

The game is admittedly a family event – some faculty and staff do bring their children, and there are often a few die-hard alumni and grandparents in the stands. However, most fans come to the game for the fun of it, not for the quiet, restful atmosphere. People know it’ll be loud and perhaps a little obnoxious when they bring their kids or families to the game.

Central’s fans are there for many of the same reasons as Simpson’s. They may like the game, or be close to someone on the team – or they may just want a chance to yell at the Simpson fans. They’re not expecting a polite welcome.

Of course there’s an element of human decency. The game may be a heated competition, but it’s not the end of the world. Fans on both sides of the field have gone overboard in the past. Storm fans should think before they act and be considerate of the other fans around them. At the same time, it’d be insulting to the Dutch to just ignore them. That’s like saying they pose no threat.

Simpson needs to let this rivalry fester. It’s a great way to let its students, faculty, staff, alumni and families show their school spirit. By admonishing Storm supporters to be overly nice to the other team, Simpson is asking fans to minimize the rivalry and therefore, minimize school spirit.