Each year as athletes gear up for the new season of sports, fans gear up for a new season of cheering. And as the season rages on, fans create new ways of showing school spirit. Lately, it seems, cheering has turned into jeering.
Not all of these new or “fun ideas” are appropriate for the sport. Showing competitiveness and school pride is perfectly fine, but it goes too far when fans start disrespecting the other team.
“Cheers shouldn’t be generated to demean the other team,” student moderator Mr. Gerald Kissel said. “Cheers should be cheered for your own team. Period.”
In recent years, the media has highlighted the issue through local news reports. A recent example is the Yahoo! Sports article Catholic school upsets foe with ‘We’ve got Jesus’ chant written by Cameron Smith which reported that Saint Xavier High School’s student section chanted “We got Jesus!” at the varsity football against Colerain High School on September 9, 2011.
This verbal onslaught was brought upon first by Colerain who started with the popular “we got girls” cheer, aiming to make fun of the fact that St. Xavier is an all-boys school. St. Xavier retaliated with the “we got Jesus” chant, contrasting Colerain as a public high school to St. X’s Jesuit tradition. This chant immediately drew interest to the school via the national media.
No set rules exist for what can and can not be in a cheer and these “loose guidelines” are an open invitation for fans to cheer whatever they want. Cheers and expressions of school spirit can deeply reflect a school’s image.
“Cheers with profanity shouldn’t be cheered at all,” said senior Jordan Davis. “Fans should be loud while still being respectful to the other team.”
Cheering has strayed from the original purpose of showing spirit for a school team into a competition over how much each fan section can bash the opposing team. This idea isn’t cheering, it’s just disrespect.
“We should treat the opponents with respect,” said Athletic Director Rob Heise. “Kids should cheer for their own team, not against the opposing team.”