GameDay: Harmless Rival Fun

So last week there was a big stink about what some Texas Tech fans did to the bus for the outgoing Texas A&M Aggies before their game.  Apparently, there was some messages painted on the buses and some stank smell planted within.  Both administrators for the schools came out afterward and fanned the flame of this story.  The Aggie administrator complained about the total lack of class exhibited by the Tech folk.  The Tech administrator played down the type of things used in the defacing and stated that they provided some farewell fruit basket before the game.  What side do you fall on?  Was it harmless fun or totally classless?

For me, it seems to be harmless fun.  Rivalries are bred out of students stealing a mascot or tossing a cape on a statue.  It’s part of the tradition of college football.  Can you imagine how some of these rivalries would play out if nobody did those kind of things?  It would be pretty boring.  It also backfired for Tech.  So they were winning the game but eventually lost to Texas A&M.  You know what?  That defacing might have motivated the Aggies to play harder.  So I don’t think it would be as classless because you’re kind of helping the opposite side as well.

I do know what classless looks like, however.  Just look at Harvey Updyke Jr.  I still kind of waved it off, but if wanted something more close to evil, poisoning trees would be up there.  I remember the week it happened and how some administrators for Auburn were literally in tears.  If a prank ends up delivering some actual harm to a living thing, I would not approve.  That’s where I draw the line.  There have been some stories of abducting live animal mascots, but you don’t see deaths or harm to the animals coming from it.

So stinking up a bus is not on that level.  I wish Texas A&M would lighten up a little.  They are the ones leaving the league for the SEC and are on their farewell tour.  It should almost be expected that everyone else in the Big 12 would be up a little bit more for the game.  That heightened awareness will most assuredly breed some pranks against the team.  Texas A&M should expect that opposing fans, not administrators, will go out of their way to say goodbye.  To complain about it only shows that they can’t handle it as much.

So in the future when you see some prank happening to your school, try to take a lighthearted approach to it.  It’s not the end of the world if something goofy happens to your favorite mascot.  It’s all part of the tradition of college football.  Heck, I would even encourage you to come up with a more creative way to get back at the prankster.  Just keep in mind, that physical harm should not be on the checklist.  That’s when you cross the line from having fun to being a total jerk wad.