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Fan friendly or fan unfriendly?

I have been attending ASU football games on a regular basis for two years now. Saturday night was the first time I found myself to be embarrassed to don the maroon and gold. My embarrassment did not stem from the fact that ASU got blown out at home on national television.

No, I was embarrassed to be associated with our school because of the way our guests, Georgia Bulldog fans, were treated.

As I walked down the line of ASU students who were waiting for the gaits to open on Saturday, I was closely followed by three Georgia fans. They consisted of a woman, probably in her forties, and two college-aged girls. I was in shock as I heard the multitude of degrading comments aimed at these women.

These three women were called names ranging from sluts to skanks. A number of the slandering remarks would be inappropriate to recount in this letter. The insults continued to reign down on them as they traveled down the line.

As we walked, I turned and apologized for my fellow student’s behavior. The older woman of the group replied, “Your fans are the rudest I have ever seen.” I apologized again, as they swiftly walked away.

I am all for cheering on our team, but there is no need to demean the fans of our opposition. I feel that there is no room for this type of behavior among our students and fans. I can imagine bouts of trash-talk towards boisterous opposing fans that are walking around, looking for a war of words.

However, three quiet ladies trying to find the entrance to our stadium should never be targets of such vulgar remarks. What message does this send to the country about our school?

All that this episode showed these three particular guests was the fact that our students are ill-mannered boors.

Bryan Coots


After reading Mr. Gardner’s letter to the editor (“Fan behavior was appalling” in Tuesday’s paper), I just had to laugh. I was in the student line and witnessed the coarse insults hurled at the Bulldogs fans, and let me tell you that what I saw was rather mild.

Sure, I can agree that ASU students should not be hurling beer cans at children. However, all manner of invectives and jeering is fair game — and, of course, it was “good-natured.” Surely, Georgia fans don’t expect that the Sun Devils who were to populate the student section were going to meekly keep quiet as they walked by, or make them feel “welcome?” The only ones who are welcome at Sun Devil Stadium are Sun Devils everyone else is the enemy.

That’s not to say we hate the other team and its fans — outside the context of the football game, we’d get along just fine — but the attitude witnessed on Saturday is just part of college football culture. If you can’t take being hassled, then don’t go to away games — watch the home games at Sanford Stadium.

When I go support my team at an away game, I go knowing full well that I’m going to be hassled, insulted, and generally made to feel unwelcome — and you know what? That just makes the victories sweeter.

I have never complained about how I was being treated at away games, and the behavior of ASU fans at the ASU-Georgia game absolutely did not warrant such a letter to The State Press.

Let me add another thing: As an alum of another SEC school, I know just how crude and classless Georgia fan behavior can be. It made me sick to think that Mr. Gardner wishes to sell some fantasy about SEC fans being polite, classy gentlemen.

Just look at the Florida-Georgia “World’s Largest Cocktail Party” game, where hardly a year goes by without hearing of fans beating each other up (not just throwing half-empty beer cans in each other’s general direction), or the Alabama-Auburn Iron Bowl, or the Ole Miss - Mississippi State Egg Bowl.

These all feature much worse behavior than we saw at the ASU-Georgia game, and all are excellent examples of a fine American college football tradition.

Paul Allen Jackson

Graduate student

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