Thursday, July 13, 2006

Don't Be a Cry Baby

Yesterday Nate Bauer went off on an editorial by The Collegian which lambasted the university for not allotting more tickets to the students.

This all started a few weeks ago when the university announced that student tickets had sold out in a record 13 days. Tickets are sold on a first come first serve basis. A university official gave a brief glimmer of hope when they said they may make more student tickets available, but then they backtracked and said no. So many students will be left without tickets this fall.

But the Collegian editorial is childish in their complaint and reasoning. They say "Ticketless students are going to need something to do on game days so they don't spend the entire day drinking in the parking lot. " To avoid this situation, they suggest opening the Bryce Jordan Center to allow students to watch the game on the Jumbo-Tron.

You can't blame the university if a student chooses to drink in the parking lot all day. That is their choice. We're all individuals. We're all responsible for our actions. It's not the responsibility of the university to make sure you have something constructive to do on a saturday afternoon. If you can't get in the game, watch it on television. That's what I'll be doing.

But what makes this argument ring hollow is the fair weather nature of the Penn State student section. During the down years, you could look at the student section and easily the last 20 to 50 rows were empty. They eat their tickets during the down years and then complain when there are no tickets to be had during the good years. You can't have it both ways. The way to get more tickets is to show up even when the team sucks.

The other problem, and I'm not sure how you correct this, is that lots of students that show up for the game could really care less about football. They treat the game as more of a social event. I may get in trouble here, but I'm talking specifically about sororities. I remember when I was a student in the 90's sitting (but usually standing) in the student section surrounded by sorority girls that couldn't tell you the difference between linebacker and a safety. They all get together before the game and go in at the same time so they can go in as a block and sit together. Usually they get there early so they can get good seats. They're all decked out in their hair and makeup and pretty face paint with their sorority T-shirts. Then once the game starts they are wandering around looking for boys (what better place to find boys than at a PSU game?) or talking about the party last night or where they are going to drink tonight. Then when the team loses they are the first ones to get angry and yell "You suck" at the players as they walk off the field as if they have been personally offended. It always made me mad when I saw people like this taking up a seat in place of some deserving fan that couldn't get a ticket. Again, I'm not sure how you weed out these people who go to the games just for the social factor. Perhaps if demand is so high it's time to raise prices and try to weed out these people.

But getting back to the editorial, The Collegian wraps up their column by saying, "Someone in this university needs to grow up and take responsibility for this issue." If anyone has to grow up, it's The Collegian.

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