Home field advantage at the University of Wisconsin has its traditions. There’s the earthquake-registering bedlam of jumping around to House of Pain. Or 14,000 red-clad fans drowning out stadium speakers belting “Build Me Up Buttercup.”
Then there’s the popular section v. section chant of “Eat S—, F— You.” A tradition Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez would appreciate ending.
In a letter to student season ticket holders, Alvarez shared one of many messages he received from someone in attendance at a Camp Randall football game.
“This past Saturday, my son and I attended our first Badgers game at Camp Randall. All in all, it was great fun; however, one thing surprised and disturbed me. During the course of the game, the student body was led in a very obscene cheer consisting of echoing ‘Eat S—‘ and ‘F— You.’ I was pretty appalled considering that not all the spectators were 18 years or older. It was not the sort of thing children should be hearing.”
These complaints have persisted for years. ESPN began muting the Badgers’ student section several years ago because these same chants could be heard during its telecast.
Wisconsin is considered a BCS title contender. Coach Bret Bielema has been all over the ESPN family of networks this week. The program’s heightened status is surely a major factor is Alvarez’ renewed plea.
But short of removing entire sections from a football game, this tradition – however inappropriate – won’t be going away any time soon.
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