Our View: Fighting about cheering futile

Craig Editorial Board

  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Jennifer L. Grubbs, newspaper representative
  • Bridget Manley, newspaper representative
  • Allan Reishus, community representative
  • Chris Runyan, community representative
  • Ken Wergin, community representative

— Too much already has been made of a squabble between a group of parents and high school students seeking to cheer on the Bulldogs at a football game.

Feelings were hurt, profane names were used, and somehow soda pop got involved.

Emotions were running high at the homecoming football game. A group of parents who sat behind the student cheering section thought the students should sit down so they could see the game. The students thought the adults should know that the students always stand there and cheer.

Unfortunately, neither side would give an inch, and words (and maybe more) were exchanged.

The way we see it, there is nothing to gain by continuing this fracas or letting it turn into a feud. Instead, we need to learn from it and move on.

And there are many things we can learn from the students' and parents' examples.

• First, we all need to learn a little respect.

Students who hurled profanities at adults should be ashamed. Any adults who threw them back at students should be even more ashamed.

A football game is a community and family event. It may be outdoors and in the open, but the language we all use should be the same as what we would use at a family gathering.

Still students are told to use their indoor voices all the time; cheering at the game needs to be a chance to use outdoor voices, just with clean language. But this applies to adults, too.

• Second, we all need to use a little common sense.

If you're not sure if it's normal for a group to be standing and cheering in a certain spot, ask someone.

If there is a large group of people standing in front of you and you cannot see, simply move to somewhere that you can see.

If someone asks you to sit down, calmly explain why you're standing and help solve the problem. Don't become part of it.

• Third, it doesn't hurt to spell out long-accepted traditions for newcomers.

It's not a good idea to assume everyone knows exactly how seating works at games.

The stands at the Bulldog Proving Grounds now feature a sign that states the location of the "Dog Pound" cheering section. That's one thing that could have helped prevent this situation.

Another would have been students or faculty making sure people sitting directly behind the students knew what to expect from the night's events.

• Finally, cheering is too important to stifle.

At a sporting event, the crowd is just as much a part of the game as the players. There's a reason why you hear announcers at professional football games talking about the 12th man - the fans in the crowd can make all the difference. Their level of enthusiasm and excitement can help rally a team to victory or come back from behind.

When an MCHS football player looks up to the stands and sees a sea of blue shirts - even hair and faces - and people standing and waving, he gets a rush of support and pride. At the same time, the crowd is rewarded by seeing the home team do its best, win or lose.

It's a relationship that we do not want to see diminished.

We're worried some students have thought that was the message a few adults were trying to send. We're also worried that a few adults were more concerned with teaching a few obnoxious students a lesson than they were with cheering on the team.

Instead, the message needs to be one of mutual respect and school spirit.

We've been playing and cheering for Moffat County football for far too many years for this to continue beyond one night of hurt feelings. It's time to move on.

Go Bulldogs!

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