Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Renewed Assault on Chanted Vulgarity

Michigan State officials are launching an initiative in hopes of convincing the sellout crowd against Michigan will abandon all vulgarity upon entering Spartan Stadium. No "One, two, three, first down bitch" or songs that begin with "F*** the Wolverines..."

And to do that, they're planning to convince fans with the opinions of... other fans. According to a university study:
  • 84 percent of MSU fans in the stands think it is unacceptable for fans to yell at or insult fans of the opposing team.
  • 80 percent of MSU fans never participate in a group chant that involves swearing or vulgar language directed at the opposing team.
  • 70 percent of MSU fans disapprove of players engaging in prolonged celebrations after a score or big play.
  • 68 percent of MSU fans in the stands think there is at least some need to improve the sportsmanship of fans at college or university sporting events.
Here's the thing I don't get though. Apparently, according to that study, just 73 percent of MSU fans approve of yelling or chanting to make it difficult for the opposing team to communicate.

So about 27 percent of MSU fans don't approve, or are unsure of whether it's OK to yell loudly when Michigan is playing a key third down near the goal line. What, does everyone need to be quiet like Spartan football is the next iteration of Wimbledon or the Masters?

It's ridiculous, and unfortunately it obscures the whole point of the survey, which according to TOSSS readers is a welcome thing. Recall that in a previous poll, a clear majority of fans said the level of vulgarity in cheers needs to be reduced or eliminated.

Regardless, the message was e-mailed to 150,000 Spartan fans today, so we'll see how well it takes. However, if Michigan finds itself down four and driving late, I would hope that Spartan Stadium would be rocking, profanity or no.

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