Because of the actions of few angry football fans, our entire University looks about as classy as a person stealing from the blind.
Before I make too many enemies, I want to be clear about one thing. I am not bashing the entire USF fan base or student section. I’m not talking about the fans who started chanting “bull—-“, because I was on the field, in the corner of the end zone during the final play of the game, and I agree. The last no-call was indeed horrible.
I am, however, talking about the students/fans who decided to take their disappointment to the next, dangerous level. I’m talking about the idiots who decided to throw cups, trash and water bottles onto the field to prove just how upset they were.
It was in no way necessary to throw anything onto the field – no matter how upsetting the no-call was. Throwing objects onto the field is completely out of line for a number of reasons.
For starters, what were you people trying to prove?
Did you think that throwing your half-empty Dasani was going to make the referee change his mind?
The officiating crew was simply doing the job it was paid to do. Like I mentioned, I was standing on the field, no more than a first-down away from where the play happened. An official was standing right over the play. If he doesn’t see a foul during the game, what makes you think that pelting him with garbage is going make him want to change his mind?
Next, throwing anything onto the field is just plain dangerous. I was watching this happen from the field with other journalists, cameramen and television crews, afraid that I was going to be blindsided by some moron’s trash. I even saw people in the rows farthest from the field hitting people in row ten, because they didn’t have either the power or the desire to make it all the way down. Nobody from Cincinnati was hit by the trash, because their locker room was down by their cheering section.
The only people getting hit were fellow students and perhaps a couple of police officers. Maybe that’s why I saw an unusually high number of people getting pulled over after the game.
The only thing this accomplished was making USF look like a classless university with classless students. Throwing things onto the field is in bad taste, no matter how big of a call a ref blew. It makes the school look unsportsmanlike, and it gives USF a bad reputation. No matter how well the team has done this season, the scene of students throwing cups, trash and bottles onto the field may make a long-lasting impression.
Pretty sad, huh?
The worst part of this whole thing is that everyone looks bad, not just the knuckleheads involved. Most fans decided to give the customary bad call chant, then go home to forget about the game. The fans who did nothing wrong are paying for something they had no part in.
After everything positive, this really ticked me off. I was at the USF/Auburn game, and it was the polar opposite of a USF loss. Fans at Auburn congratulated USF on the giant step the team had just taken to gaining national prominence. Fans offered me food and drinks, and one invited me to crash at their place if I needed to.
But USF is a long way from that. Big-time programs are built on traditions. If USF ever has another chance to build something positive, I hope those involved in Saturday’s trash-tossing will think twice before they embarrass their classmates, football team and most importantly, their University.