Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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In a CBS Sports article, Jerry Hinnen reported on a report from WBNS (that’s the Columbus CBS station, in case you didn’t know) stating that fans can now text the word “BRUTUS” to alert the event staff members of “problem fans”. As expected, news of this new policy spread rather quickly, and ticked off a few Buckeye fans to boot.
The thing that really ticked everybody off is the idea that you can report fans who do not “sit during game play”.
I get it, I really do. This is a free country and you should be able to stand for your team whenever they do something great. I don’t disagree. But does the crowd, which is always a sellout crowd, need to stand for the entire game? The answer to that question depends completely upon where you happen to be seated during the game.
I myself have personally attended at least a dozen Ohio State football games. I’ve sat everywhere from the first row of AA Deck (I’m talking back when there were bleachers sitting on the track…the field wasn’t lowered yet) to the very top row of C Deck (right smack between the towers in the north end of the stadium). Each section has its own rules.
When I sat up between the towers, I was literally in the very top row…so nobody was behind me to complain if I stood up too much. When I sat in the bleachers on the track, nobody cared if I stood up there either…mostly because we were stuck right behind the Illinois football team.
My personal favorite place to sit is in the student section. I know this: You had better wear comfortable shoes when “sitting” in the student section…because you never sit down…at all. I’m not sure that the seats in this section serve any real purpose other than to 1) provide a shelf on which to set your drink or 2) provide a shelf under which you can hide the booze that you snuck into the stadium. I myself never snuck booze into the stadium, but I did see some pretty clever methods used to do so…but that is for another post.
Not once have I ever had anyone complain that I was standing too often, whether I was sitting in C Deck, the student section in the south stands, or in the expensive seats in A Deck. I’ve done my fair share of standing and I’ve done my fair share of sitting. You just go with the people around you. If everyone stands, you stand. If everyone sits, you sit…kinda like Church.
This rule was put in place for the people who ruin the game day experience for everyone. Standing and cheering is the least of people’s worries. The good folks at Ohio State just want to make sure that The Shoe doesn’t turn into the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. If you see people fighting, swearing with a bunch of kids around, or getting ready to dump smuggled beer on some opposing team’s fans, then even I expect you to text “BRUTUS” and get the situation under control. Sure, maybe a few cranky fans (read old, snooty fans in the fancy fold down seats in front of the press box) might take advantage of this policy, but it’s not the end of the world.
So let’s all step off the ledge. Nobody is trying to kill the atmosphere in The Shoe. Nobody wants you to stop cheering. Ohio State just wants to ensure that the idiotic actions of a few arrogant drunks don’t ruin the game day experience for everyone.