Sorry, do I need to issue an apology for that headline?
If you haven't heard yet, while Rutgers was drubbing Navy last Friday night, Scarlet Knights fans showered Navy players with boos and taunts, and yes, the occasional F word. *Gasp!*
Now Navy personnel and the national media are calling Rutgers fans classless, and Rutgers has issued a formal apology.
"It was the most classless thing I've ever seen," cried Navy academic recruiter Bill Squires in a Star-Ledger article by Mark Di Ionno.
Excuse me if I don't share the outrage. I did go to Maryland after all.
Yes, the Midshipmen are "true student athletes" and aren't fighting for NFL dollars, but they're playing college ball in Division 1. And if the ads I hear on the radio 10 times a day are correct, they've made four straight bowl appearances, so clearly they are able to be competitive despite the picture Di Ionno attempts to paint of grown men picking on kids.
(On Navy's Reggie Campbell, Di Ionno wrote, "This gutsy kid, a slotback who already spent three quarters being chased and tackled by gangs of defensive linemen and linebackers, all weighing at least 100 pounds more than him ..." Give. Me. A. Break. I'm sure Campbell loves being described as an underweight puss who has no business on a field with the REAL football players, too, Mark. Because that's sure how it sounds the way it's written.)
My question is, where has Navy been traveling all these years that they haven't heard similar crap a million times before this? I'm all for a little respect for the Mids, but do opposing fans -- especially college students -- really shut it down just because the visiting section is dressed in white uniforms and funny hats?
Clearly they don't make the trip to Morgantown, West Virginia, very often.
This is college sports, where college-aged kids play against other college-aged kids in front of a slew of drunken college-aged kids who get seats 20 feet from the field. Some profanities are going to fly. (And if this were Morgantown some D batteries would fly, too.)
I'm not saying I'm all for yelling F this and F that at sporting events -- despite what this post and my last post might lead you to believe. I'm just saying I don't get the outrage. Especially not over this particular "incident."
I guess you can't be too surprised about Navy's reaction. Is there a more thin-skinned athletic program? You'd think a bunch of guys that spend all day getting yelled at while doing push ups and calling people "sir" would be able to take some lip.
But this is the same school that put a rivalry with Maryland on hold for FORTY years because a Terp linebacker gave the Navy student section the finger. (Nevermind that the Terp, Jerry Fishman, was retaliating to anti-Semitic remarks from the Mids. Although maybe that was seen as acceptable in 1965.)
This is also the school that may AGAIN put that rivalry on hold because they'd rather cry about how Maryland "spurned" them by turning down an invite to play Navy in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., to instead go to the Champs Sports Bowl ... a higher ranked bowl game ... against a Big Ten team ... in Orlando ... in December.
Get over it, Navy. The bitching is getting old.
So a bunch of 18-22 year olds had to hear the F word aimed in their general direction. I think they'll live. I'd even venture to guess that a few of them had heard the word before, had it said to them before, and *shudder* even USED it before. Get right out of town!
Someone pass me some D batteries.