Frog fans should treat others with respect

When you think of football games, what do you think of? Cheering in the stands until you lose your voice? Painting your face so purple that your professors can’t tell whether you’ve been strangled or gone to a ball game? Watching in awe as the cheerleaders and Showgirls perform their jawdropping stunts?

Attending football games can be an incredible part of the college experience. Before I came to TCU, I had never been to a football game. But when I came to TCU, I decided to change that. I cheered the Horned Frogs at all of the home games even though I did not understand anything that happened on the field. I loved cheering when everyone else in purple cheered and watching players tackle each other over a lemon-shaped ball.

One thing I don’t enjoy about the football games, however, is being bombarded with death threats from the other team. We are all guilty of booing when the other team scores or the referee makes an unfavorable call, but is it really necessary to curse the other team in order to support ours?

I don’t think so.

Instead of concentrating on ridiculing our rivals, we should focus on supporting our team. I fully believe we should lose our voices screaming when we score. I support doing all the TCU cheers as often as possible to create positive energy around our team. Positive energy encourages our players to do their best and unifies the TCU family.

When we boo the other team or shout curses at them, it creates a negative energy. Rather than encourage our team, negative energy disheartens the other team. Imagine how difficult it would be for you to play if thousands of people were ridiculing you or cursing your school. It is much more effective to focus our influence on supporting our team rather than deriding the opposing players.

We all learned the golden rule in grade school: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Unfortunately, now that we are in college, most of us neglect to put it into practice. When we play away games, we do not want to be treated with hostility. If we treat visiting teams with respect and courtesy, they will be more inclined to treat us likewise. Disparaging rival teams reflects badly on TCU. When other schools play us, they judge us. They evaluate us by the quality of our team, the amount of student support we have and the way in which we treat them. Do we want other schools to condemn us as “rude” or “obsessive?” Probably not. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather come from a school with the reputation of “friendly rival” or “courteous competition.”

TCU’s mission statement stresses being ethical leaders. When we curse the other team just because it scored, we are not being ethical leaders; we are being selfish. Remember what your mother told you: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

When I facilitated Frog Camp this year, we told campers to support the Horned Frogs without bashing the other teams. But when I went to the TCU vs. Baylor game, I saw that many people were criticizing the Bears rather than cheering the Frogs. About half-way through the game, one of my campers turned to me and asked, “Didn’t they tell us at Frog Camp to support our team and not insult the other team?” I nodded my head in affirmation, but told her that obviously not everyone got the memo.

One of TCU’s signature quotes is “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” by Mahatma Gandhi.

If we, as TCU students, took a stand as ethical leaders – if we stopped belittling rival teams and instead focused our energy on supporting our team we could make a difference in college football as we know it. We could create dynamic positive energy around our team that would help it succeed rather than create negative energy that destroys. Competition is good; but when it goes to the extreme, it can create foul play.

Christina Durano is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Albuquerque, N.M.