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Stand up for fans’ right to stand during games

Cody Cousino/ Photo editor

I’ve just walked into the Varsity Club and I’ve taken a booth in the back surrounded by fans celebrating a win against Michigan. Sitting here in a bar filled with a celebratory euphoria, it’s almost impossible to imagine what came of the tap I got on my shoulder just minutes ago in the Schottenstein Center.

I didn’t get student tickets, so instead I took tickets on the opposite baseline. Section 131, Row D, a place where standing is frowned upon.

I got to the game late after finishing a German written test and walked down to my seat with just less than 10 minutes remaining in the game.

When I got there, the whole section was seated through an “O-H-I-O” chant. Granted it was my first game, and perhaps on this end-line section, fans are more like spectators, and standing is not welcome for that reason.

I come from San Antonio though. Some of my earliest memories are standing in the Alamodome while Michael Jordan wowed us all or standing watching the Spurs in the finals as David Robinson finally made it to the promised land. I remember watching the Spurs in the new AT&T Center, winning what seemed to be 10 championships. And through the whole game, I was standing, not sitting, with my dad, in disbelief as the Mavs eliminated the Spurs. There in those stadiums, standing is encouraged, it’s almost sacrosanct, which anyone who has traveled to a San Antonio-hosted Final Four can attest to.

But in those last minutes of the OSU-Michigan game, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see an usher asking me if there was a problem. I was told that standing is only OK when everyone else is standing, what he termed the majority rule, and that at other times, standing is not encouraged.

Now I can understand that we are a university of history and tradition, that the elderly attend with as much passion as the youth, but due to their age cannot stand through the game.

Yet, if one is to attend a sporting event, one must anticipate that the crowd will come to its feet. I would think that one would hope the crowd would do so often in a winning effort.

How is it that a group can take a vote when the other sidelines are already, and still, standing, as to whether or not we should join them? Perhaps the remote controls found in a biology lecture might be helpful. The results could be broadcast instantaneously to the large screens, and the section would know when they could and when they could not stand in support of the teams playing at that moment.

My point though, focuses on encouragement.

How can we support a team, when we must decide as a group whether or not we wish to support that team to begin with? What is the point of home-court advantage when the crowd cannot come to its feet one by one and remain standing even when the momentum is going the other way?

 

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