Post Classifieds

Sports Opinion: Respectful rivalries

By Tim Wilmes
On February 10, 2013

Last Tuesday, campus was busy with activity and excitement as the men's basketball team prepared to defend their winning tradition at home against rival Dayton.
Thoughts of Jimmy Carter were interrupted, however, when an alleged group of Dayton fans shamed the D'Artagnan statue by placing a skirt-like sheet onto the Musketeer labeled with "GO UD." This prank might have been passed off as harmless and the result of a heated rivalry if the bottom of the sheet had not displayed an acronym-expletive directed at the university. The backlash occurred immediately, as students vented their frustrations about the incident on Twitter with angry comments directed at Dayton fans. I, too, was one of the many outraged
Xavier victims on that night (just ask my roommate). But since the passing of that incident, I've had the opportunity
to reflecton the misdeeds of the Dayton hoodlums. Even
more so, I've thought about the reactions of the Xavier community and have come up with two takeaways
from Tuesday night. First, I've recognized the hypocrisy that has come as the result of our Xavier fanhood. I'm speaking here in terms of generalities. Since I've attended this university, I've heard a lot of negative things said about Dayton fans, especially in terms of their lack of class. I've
always assumed this to be true and could even cite an example or two that I've experienced myself. Because of this, one of the first things that I thought of when I saw the expletive-ridden sheet was just: well, this proves it. Dayton fans aren't classy at all. And then I went on Twitter and
found the same sort of swear words directed at Dayton. To me, it seems hypocritical for us as Xavier fans to put down
Dayton, or even Cincinnati, supporters for not being classy and then openly shout expletives at opposing players at Cintas Center. If we're going to put down another fan base or university, then we'd better be sure to be just as critical
about our own actions the next time those hate-filled comments come wafting out of the student section. This leads me to the second conclusion that I took away from
the incident on Tuesday night - if we want to take pride in our Newswire photo by Andrew Matsushita Senior forward Amber Gray led Xavier in scoring with 10.8 points in its victory over St. Bonaventure. fanhood and in our support for our university, then we need to be cognizant of how we bear the Xavier emblem. The reason that I got upset at the skirting of D'Artagnan was not because Dayton fans put a sheet on our statue, but because of the
expletives written on it; they put the image of their school in jeopardy. In the same way, whenever we attend games at Cintas Center, or we're wearing our Xavier paraphernalia,
we need to be aware of how we act and how we come off
to other people. Think of it this way: if in 20 years you took your kid to a Xavier basketball game and the student
section started swearing and acting inappropriately, how would you feel? Would you be proud of your alma mater? Of course, it's perfectly legitimate to be angry at the actions of other fan bases when they intentionally try to do us harm. But it's important to remember that we too need to be
careful about how we respond.

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