Poor fan behavior tarnishes integrity of Strake rivalry


By Andrew McCulloch
Eagle Editorial Board

The St. Thomas-Strake Jesuit rivalry is rich in tradition and almost supersedes time itself. It is hard to recall a time when the Eagles and the Crusaders were not squaring off on the field and in the gym, partially because that was in the 1950s.
All kidding aside though, the rivalry has produced some exhilarating and memorable moments even current students can relish in.
Everyone remembers watching Jack Brady’s miracle kick sail through the uprights to end a 14 year losing streak on the gridiron. No one has forgotten the phenomenal duals between current college stars Christian Sanders and Rasheed Sulaiman on the hardwood.
Those were unforgettable moments and will live on as cherished memories for years to come for Eagles and Crusaders alike. However, it becomes increasingly more difficult to appreciate such a fierce, competitive rivalry when the fans are too busy heckling one another to take in the game.
Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a good ole fashioned “on the football field” or “who’s your daddy?” chant, but recently fan behavior has reached a certain level of pure vulgarity that it takes away from the rivalry in and of itself.
The indecency reached a boiling point during the Eagles 42-34 victory over the Crusaders in November when a fantastic game was marred by the insult-flinging student sections.
For the second year in a row, the Strake Jesuit student section resorted to the infamous “Penn State High School” chant early in the game after somewhat harmless jabs from the St. Thomas students section. What followed was an onslaught of obscene references to specific players on both teams that forced school administrators to quell the chants.
As a fan and a student, it saddens me to see us collectively stoop to this level. We at St. Thomas are above this sort of filth and it is time we start reflecting that.
A legendary rivalry is going to be ruined if people on both sides do not step above this activity and release that it casts a poor light upon both schools when we are in the most publicaly seen environment.
It is time we as a school act better than this because it shows that we are better than Strake, on and off the scoreboard.