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Thoughts on chants at a football game

POSTED: September 21, 2011 9:00 a.m.

My dear wife, who hasn't been to a high school football game in years, was at first appalled when I told her what some young Richmond Hill High School fans chanted loudly during Friday's game against South Effingham.

Then she got mad.

"I can't believe they said things like that. Those should be fighting words," she said. "That's just mean."

You know what I'm talking about if you were there: I could hear it from just about anywhere on the sidelines on either side of the field:

"Inbred (clap clap clap), Inbred (clap clap clap)" and "Tiger Ridge (clap clap clap) Tiger Ridge."
The first word speaks for itself.

The name "Tiger Ridge" is reference to a certain well documented community in Effingham County. I'm not going to say what I think about Tiger Ridge because what I think doesn't matter.

But the chants from the bleachers on Friday night are something altogether different. I usually don't pay much attention to the noise coming from the stands, but I couldn't help but hear that -- and I heard it loud and clear from the visiting side of the field. And I thought, man, that's so wrong.

Sure, it was probalby some teenaged kids who likely thought they were being clever and getting into the opponents' heads.

Nope. Instead it was, as my wife noted, "just mean."

"That's just bad sportsmanship. What happened to just cheering for your team?" she asked, and I'm not surprised, because while bossy at times she also is one of the kinder souls I know. You know, if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all.

Unfortunately, bad sportsmanship -- and that's what those chants boiled down too -- from fans is all too common these days at far too many places. If you've got time, I've seen enough over the past 16 years of covering sports around this area to make up quite a list.

But what I heard Friday night was a first. Maybe it's not a first for the guys chanting "inbred," but it was for me.

Granted, there are worse things fans can do and have done. People get beat for pulling for the wrong team in some parts of the world -- like Los Angeles.

Some fans would probably eat their own young if they didn't like what they saw on the field -- or thought they could help their team win.It's that brutal at times.

That doesn't make it right.



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