School rivalry gone too far?

School rivalry gone too far?

by Mindy Marks

FTD was burnt into the Central College football field’s 50-yard line – or so the rumor went.

For most students, the longstanding rivalry between Simpson and Central is healthy and good spirited, but some fans feel that inappropriate clothing and childish pranks have taken the rivalry to an unsuitable level.

“I’ve heard there was an FTD burnt into the Central College 50 yard line, but I haven’t actually seen it,” said Ashley Wendt, sophomore at Central College.

Despite rumors that there is that inscription, no FTD scrawlings are on Central’s football field.

On the back of a Simpson fan’s gray T-shirt there is a Wheel of Fortune game board with the letters F*CK THE D*TCH entered, below that reading, “Can I Buy a Vowel!” Another student’s shirt reads “Central Girls Are Ugly.”

These are a few examples of the T-shirts spirited Simpson fans wore to Tuesday’s volleyball game and will wear to Saturday’s football game.

There is often backlash from wearing these shirts.

Simpson College President R. Kevin LaGree said he’s received many complaints from people who believe the shirts aren’t inappropriate clothing for the games. Small children, parents and grandparents often attend the same games where students are wearing the shirts.

“Making T-shirts just promotes the game and gets students all riled up for it,” said senior Tom Williams.

Williams wears his shirt in only a friendly rivalry manner, as he plans to hang out at Central after the game. He has even received requests for the shirts from Central students.

“We wanted to make a cleaner shirt that we could actually wear,” said senior Sandy Beattie.

While the shirts are worn for fun, fans see negative effects.

“[Central] President [David] Roe and I have talked about it before because it’s an issue at Central also, but it is important to encourage students to represent their schools in the best way possible,” said LaGree.

LaGree hopes to encourage good sportsmanship.

In an e-mail to Simpson students, LaGree said he tried to explain to critics that Simpson students are friendly, fair and caring but they don’t believe him.

“Please make the best choice as you support Simpson this week and every week,” LaGree said to students in his e-mail.

“Having rivals is a part of the college experience,” said junior Kristen Erickson.