Stop assaulting me with football

Jonathan Septer

Kent State, for the first time in recent history, has a slightly better than average football team. Good for the football team. For the rest of us, the recent flood of school spirit is aimed to make us happy we chose to come to Kent State. Shouldn’t a diploma do that?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate football. I don’t hate any of the guys I have met who play on the team. I do hate having to listen to the Kent State fight song blaring out of my computer speakers when I had no notice it was going to happen.

I respect the Kent State marching band. Most of them work harder than any team on campus. The more I think about the sudden influx of school spirit my annoyance turns to outrage tinged with disgust.

I think it is wonderful that the Kent State football team is experiencing a winning season. I think it is terrible that the event of Homecoming, under the shadow of a positive win/loss record, was more celebrated than any other on-campus event in recent memory.

Kent State has two of the best journalism and fashion programs in the country. The graduate Spanish translation program is one of three such programs offered in this country. I know from personal experience that the English department is top-notch and the School of Business is one of the fastest growing of its kind. But none of this is important. We have a good football team.

I have been a part of Kent State since 1996. This is the best I can remember the football team doing in all that time. Most of the academic achievements I mentioned have been in place since I began. What sickens me is that football, the Americanized, safer version of rugby, can supersede academic achievement and that some of the college players will move on to careers that will make them more money in three to five years than most college professors can make in a lifetime.

And you all buy into it. You’ll be sure to be at the game, but you missed class once this week due to a hangover. You make me sick. Someday, maybe when you realize your child’s crack-addicted sports hero on the television is worth millions and her elementary school teacher is overworked and underpaid and your daughter would rather do sports-enhancing drugs than homework, you’ll know what I’m talking about. But I doubt it.

You should be angry. You all grew up at roughly the same time I did. Doesn’t it bother you that Darryl Strawberry, a drug user and woman beater, made more money than all of the teachers you had in elementary, middle and high school combined?

Football is fun, and when well played, highly interesting. It is not an all-encompassing priority. Or maybe Chuck Palahniuk was right, and we are all just a part of the same decaying compost heap.

Jonathan D. Septer is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].