This is a blog I wrote on my myspace page last week concerning UVA Athletic Director Craig Littlepage's admonition against the sign toting, Wahoo supporting student body. Does the FAA restrict prop plane, banner dragging fly-overs above Scott Stadium? Is this just part of the Groh/Littlepage Machine's efforts to promote a "positive gameday atmosphere" at Virginia home games? Hey fellas, how about putting together a positive game day performance on the field! My theory is that both men know this is going to be a long season and the last thing either wants is for a vocal fan base to let them, and the team, and their recruits know about it on game day. Anyway, here's what I wrote:
Wow, I was shocked when I read Bill Reilly's article about UVA banning signs at home sporting events, ( http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3566872 ). That's right, no more creative, homemade cardboard displays allowed within the confines of Scott Stadium, Klockner or the JPA - though I shouldn't be too surprised.
I graduated from UVA in 2000 and a lot has changed at the games - and in the world -since then. No more pep band b/c they were "too offensive" to WVU fans at a couple of bowl games. Truth was, they were funny as hell. Now we have a marching band that sounds okay but doesn't really have much tradition. Speaking of UVA traditions, there was a day (when I attended The University) when guys wore ties to the games, girls wore sundresses, and you could leave the stadium to tailgate during the half and return for the start of the 3rd quarter. Win or lose, everyone went home happy, some a mite liquored up and/or ready to take their date home for some post game activities.
Okay, so the ties were not a favorite of mine, but nowadays, Head MacGruber Al Groh encourages everyone - EVEN THE HOT GIRLS WHO'D OTHERWISE WEAR SUNDRESSES - to wear orange HooVille t-shirts to Saturday's games, and even students, who get in w/their student ID's instead of tickets can't leave the stadium and return. I guess we can blame the administration's reaction to 9/11 on that one. Don't want a rabid fan to go out to the parking lot and celebrate a half time lead with a Molotov cocktail! Maybe that's why they allow an unlimited supply of potent potables in the corporate boxes - believe me, I've watched games from there and gotten pretty tanked in the process. Oh well, as long as students are still mastering the Virginia Gentleman in a plastic baggie on the crotch technique, there really is no need to leave the stadium at the half, but I digress. Back to the issue at hand!
Signs are a tradition at major sporting events, they're occassionally clever and aside from paper cut or ink poisoning, they typically don't hurt anyone. I mean, Peter Warrick didn't have much of an NFL career, but I doubt it's because of the sign I held up during a 1997 Florida State rout of the 'Hoos that read "Every Saturday = Parole for the Noles." It was P-Dub's first game back after he and Lav Coles (a solid pro who was kicked off of that FSU team but is now catching passes from Brett Favre) went on a majorly discounted shopping spree at a Tallahassee Dillard's and were charged with shoplifting. Sure, I wanted the sign to hurt his feelings if he saw it, though I was sitting on the Hill behind the endzone, so if he saw my sign, it was probably after scoring a touchdown. The real reason I made it was to show support for my team and to try to get on television.
Finally, I really hope they don't crack down on signs outside of the stadium or in other places around Grounds. My favorite sign of all times hung from a satellite sorority house on Charlottesville's 14th Street, nicknamed "The Brothel" because of the large number of girls who lived there, prior to a late fall match-up versus our biggest rival, Virginia Tech. The sign simply read "Culture Vs. Agriculture," and we all knew who stood on which side. I'm not quite sure that sign could hang today without being an Honor violation for dishonesty.
Go Hoos! and Go Hooligans For Free Speech!!