Fan Pride vs. Sportsmanship: Where Should the Line Be Drawn?

T.J. MorrillCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2011

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 09:  Wyoming Cowboys fans react during the first round game of the Conoco Mountain West Conference Basketball tournament against the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs at the Thomas & Mack Center March 9, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. TCU won 70-61.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

This past weekend, I attended the University of Wyoming's homecoming football game against UNLV with a few of my fellow students.

Wyoming has always had a reputation for being sort of rowdy and perhaps, to some, even a little crude during football games.

However, this past weekend, I think a line was definitely crossed, and I have to start questioning how far "team pride" should go. When is it okay to cheer, holler or even curse?

I'm not sure how rowdy other college football crowds getโ€”the only college stadiums I've been to besides Wyoming's were all in Utah, which has a reputation for being a pretty friendly atmosphere. So, forgive me if my perception of any of this is skewed.

At War Memorial Stadium, when the Pokes move the chains, the announcer (as is the case with almost every other team in America) sets up a collective first-down chant with "that's good for another W-Y-O..." The crowd (at least, the east side of the stadium where the student section is located) then yells, "First down, mother f****ers!"

For some people that, in itself, crosses the line.

However, considering the nature of the crowd and that being sort of a tradition, I am not offended by the profanity, which you're bound to hear at sporting events anyway (especially in a small town where there's a lot of drinking going on).

What made this upsetting for me was that this already-controversial chant was not given a restโ€”even with a 41-14 lead in the fourth quarter.

But, even that was not what set me off.

UNLV's starting QB was injured after being sacked late in the game. A chant began (and I've heard other schools do this chant too) of which I do not recall in it's entirety, which ended with "He's all f***ed up!" while the young man was down.

Perhaps all of this is only the result of people being drunk and unusually unruly considering it was a homecoming game, but cheering for an injury is not acceptable.

When somebody's health or well being is in question, no cheering should take place save for an applause when the player in question leaves the field safely. That is not team pride, but a display of tastelessness, classlessness and a lack of the basic concept of sportsmanship.

As far as continuing to cheer profanely and like crazy when you're blowing the other team out, I don't like it. I think it should be given a rest.

But, I can understand it; you want to cheer your team on and get excited. But, in that case, I think your cheering should be more for your own team than directed at the opponent, as the term "motherf***ers" would imply.

So, reader, what do you think crosses the line?

Is it rubbing in a blowout? Personally insulting a fan of the opposing team? Profanity? Cheering for an injury? Killing a baby? What?


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