While I was watching yesterday’s Packers-Vikings game, the network showed the University of Wisconsin (UW) Marching Band taunting the Vikings, especially Randy Moss. The tuba players covered the sound holes with letters that when spelled out read “Where you at Moss?” Moss seemed to be amused. They also showed one of the trombone players bumping into Chris Hovan during the National Anthem, and Hovan waved his helmet at the musician (it was unclear if contact was made).
I had just watched one of the NFL broadcasters that morning talking about taunting on the field, and how he and the two players he interviewed all agreed that it did not belong out there during a game. They also agreed that personal attacks are uncalled for and do not belong in the NFL. I don’t think it was right for the UW Marching Band to taunt the Vikings before or during the game. The band showed that our UW representatives are incapable of being good sports. Likewise, even if it is professional sports and people don’t like them for their team affiliation, it demonstrates that we are unable to set good examples of being able to play a good game and make it enjoyable for the fans. And that brings up my third point in that we show kids that personal attacks are fine. It’s the type of behavior that we’ve been fighting against in this country for over a century, but we’re subconsciously bringing it back because we’ve become this winner-take-all society. Yes, it sucks to lose, and we want our teams to win. But when does the name calling and disruptive behavior get so far out of hand that it ends up in violence? It’s just another way that our ethical values have been sidestepped by our own selfish desires to be the best.
And the UW Marching Band shouldn’t be so happy… the football Badgers are nearly out of the race to go to the Rose Bowl after falling from fifth to thirteenth in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings today, thanks to their massive loss to Michigan State University on Saturday (I have to admit that I’m not a huge Badgers fan).