April 16, 2013

Pride in your school, not your pyrotechnics

By Tyler Mercer–

Only a small view of the giant crowd outside Cardinal Towne after the Cardinals’ victory.

The celebration was amazing last Monday night after our men’s basketball team became national champions. Last Tuesday was a struggle for practically everyone in our beautiful city, but the struggle was worth the celebration the night before. The crowd in front of Cardinal Towne was alive with school pride and a passion for everything that being a Cardinal stands for.

As my friends and I joined the crowd I was overwhelmed with the amount of energy that simply radiated from everyone in the celebration. I was unaware at the time, however, at how ignorant some of my fellow fans were letting their intoxication level and/or their excitement make them. I was informed, after the fact, that a couch was burned at some point of the weekend and tables were broken in Clucker’s, a restaurant located on Cardinal Boulevard in Cardinal Towne.

Individuals could be seen spraying beer over the crowd, climbing trees around the crowd and removing clothing that was essential to protecting the mystery of anatomy. I was personally hit by a tree as several people snapped the poor thing in half. These individuals were promptly escorted from the crowd by police officers. This didn’t affect anyone, though, and people continued to make themselves and our school look poorly.

My concern stems, I suppose, from my lack of understanding here. Why exactly do people feel the need to be destructive in order to show their school pride? Why is it necessary to break tables, tear down trees and signs or to burn things in order to thoroughly show off your superior school spirit?

What happened to just wearing clothes that displayed Cardinal birds and colors? Or posting statuses of excitement and pride on Facebook? When did people decide that we needed to light furniture on fire to get the point across?

I had hoped, in the days prior to our national championship win, that Louisville fans would not want to participate in these kinds of behavior. Not only do we not want to associate ourselves with our UK rivals and their tradition of taking celebration and obsession too far, but acting like this reflects poorly on ourselves as individuals and on our school and our team.

Louisville fans should strive to build a reputation of respectful and honorable behavior that accompanies not only our wins but our losses. We should strive to act maturely at all times while maintaining a level of excitement and pride for our school and our team’s accomplishments.

Setting things on fire or destroying private property is not a path to a reputation we can be proud of. While I cannot tell people to avoid drinking or whatever their celebration entails, I can advise you to act maturely and know where to draw the line.

The line refers to the extreme in which you indulge in your consumption of alcohol and also to the extreme that you take your celebrating. Igniting things on fire and destroying personal or private property should be far behind the line.

President Ramsey sent out a statement of his gratitude that Louisville fans, for the most part, acted very responsibly during the celebrations and, for the most part, we did. Some fans took it too far and we should work to not only continue no doing this if you didn’t, but encouraging our fellow fans to uphold and champion a sense of pride and humbleness that reflects who we are as Cardinals.

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Photo courtesy of courier-journal.com

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