Ashamed to be a Longhorn?: Responding to Expected Behavior at Texas

Matt HohnerContributor ISeptember 24, 2009

At “The Daily Texan,” the University of Texas student newspaper, a sports columnist wrote about the behavior of Longhorns fans during last Saturday’s Texas Tech game.

He said the vulgar taunts toward the Red Raider fans were inexplicable, and he was not proud to be wearing burnt orange at the end of the night. 

He even goes on to add that Texas fans were classless and treated the red and black faithful like dirt, for lack of a better term.

It caused quite a stir on our website, as the article received more than 70 comments.  It’s a surprise, considering it’s very uncommon for anyone to comment on our articles at all.

Sure, I wanted revenge on Texas Tech just as much as any of the other Longhorn fans.  I wanted the Longhorns to destroy the Red Raiders by 100 points.

While I did notice an extra edge in Longhorn fans that night, I didn’t see anything wrong where we stooped down to their level. 

While the mentioned columnist was not proud to be a Longhorn by the end of the night, I was gratified to throw my horns up at the end of the game while singing the “Eyes of Texas” with my fellow brethren.

It wasn’t like we were throwing bags of urine at the Red Raiders, nor were there any fights that I saw after the game.

Do you expect the Longhorns to send a thank-you letter to the Red Raider fans saying:

“Thanks for making the trip to Austin!  We really enjoyed you made it, and you played a well-fought game!  You’ll have to make it back in two years when you comeback to Austin.  Have a safe drive back to Lubbock.  Tell Mike Leach I said, ‘Hi!’ Best of luck to you!”

Yeah right, I was reminding the Lubbock faithful that they wasted their money coming down to Austin, just as Longhorns linebacker Sergio Kindle wasted Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts.

We're the same fans that chant, "Make em' eat sh**!"

We like to think of college football as one of the most passionate sporting events in our nation, but what does that really mean?

Does it mean we must ridicule the other and team and their fans?  Or, does it mean we just have to sit in our section and just loudly cheer for own team and respect our opponents?

What’s passion if we can’t taunt the other team’s fans and players?

I’ve been watching a lot of European football lately, and it’s very common to here vulgar words and chants from supporters of both sides.

I think it's neat how supporters bring in flare guns and flags into the stadium to demonstrate their loyalty and passion towards their club.

In America, we grow up on sportsmanship and fair play.  I remember when I participated in youth leagues such as soccer or tee-ball, everyone got a trophy.  It didn’t matter if you destroyed your competition by one hundred points, or you didn’t even put a point on the scoreboard for the entire season. 

At the end of the day, you get a ribbon or trophy, because you “tried” and participated.  God forbid, if little Jimmy goes home without a trophy, because his team is worthless.

Don’t forget to get in line and congratulate each other after the game to demonstrate good sportsmanship, guys!

I still believe some of the most passionate fans ever were the handful of fans that came to our high school basketball games.  They would taunt the other players and humiliate them.  It was so easy for them to hear as it echoed throughout the gym.

Then there were times when the school administrators would have to step in to impose their authority.  Good times.

Take the NBA, for example.  Players practically make out with their opponents before and after the game.   I remember when Charles Barkley said he’d greet his opponents’ before the game, but after tipoff, I’m going to beat the hell out of you.  That’s how it should be done. 

I applauded LeBron James when he didn’t congratulate the Orlando Magic after the end of the Eastern Conference Finals.  We need more of that from our athletes in sports these days.

As far as fans and the paying customer is concerned, do whatever you please at the game.   We treat American sporting venues as if we’re going to Chuck E. Cheese. 

Everyone’s there to have a great time in a family atmosphere.  Hell, we need a giant scoreboard to tell us when to make noise.

However, some fans can take it too far, a la “The Palace Brawl.”  That’s why we have to remind fans before and during the game to remember the consequences of your actions, and don’t do anything stupid.  Like throw a beer can at Ron Artest.

That’s where the line should be crossed: when the lives of players or fans are endangered.  I think that’s common sense, though, or at least it should be. 

But, if you’re a parent of young children taking your child to a sporting event, just remember it’s not Chuck E. Cheese and there’s no ball pit.

I get season tickets to show why “We’re Texas.”  To show my loyalty and support.  I’m not there to quietly respect people around me, and it’s hard to do when the majority of the fan base is intoxicated.  It’s a time to let out all of your emotion from the rigor of school.

If you want to sit quietly in front of a high definition television to watch a sporting event in the confines of your home, then do so. 

When you want to come out and support whatever team you love, then demonstrate your passion for your team.  It isn’t supposed to be some kind of business professional setting.

I know this weekend before the Longhorns take on Texas-El Paso, I’m going to hit up the keg, sit with the 100,000 plus Longhorn fans, and go absolutely crazy. 

Never be afraid to show spirit and devotion for your team, as long as you don’t hurt anyone else doing it.   

What do you expect from a bunch of college students?  That we act like professionals?  I don’t think so.

If you have a problem with expected behavior at a college football game, then follow volleyball or some other sport.  This is Texas football, and it’s Pasadena or bust this year.

Besides, I have two exams and a paper due by Monday.  I need to relieve all of my stress somehow!