Where has all the violence gone?

Wow. This is really exciting. Maybe I should take a picture. I believe that we, right now, have witnessed the true moment where varsity sports fans have set down their swords in favour of ploughshares. Wow. Forgive me if I’m missing a few exclamation marks, but I’m just trying to make a point.

In the mausoleum we fondly call the Jack Simpson Gymnasium, the men’s volleyball Dinos took on the University of Alberta Golden Bears during the Dino Cup last Friday. Forget the Battle of Alberta, Calgary might as well have played the Colby College White Mules for all the crowd cared. It seems Calgary fans prefer (sadly) to sit and waver like flowers in a cool breeze than risk making a little commotion against their arch-nemesis, Edmonton.

Maybe I missed the happy train here, but it seems like it’s just not cool anymore to slag Edmonton. Maybe we’ve all come to our senses and realized those hicks up north aren’t any more inbred than we are. Or maybe–GOD NO!–we’ve just figured out that sports rivalries are not as important as they use to be.

Well, personally, I’m glad we’ve all woken up to reality and become a bunch of pacifist wusses. No, really… I was worried for a second that we’d just continue to go through life enjoying healthy competition driven by paying sports fans who like to scream themselves hoarse in an effort to push some team over the top. Phew!

Back to the Mausoleum: last Friday, there were a couple of clearly identifiable Bears fans in the stands. They were relatively vocal compared to the lukewarm Dino "fans" so you couldn’t miss them. Yet, in the midst of the gym that is the Dinos’ lair, these U of A loyalists remained unharmed and unnoticed thanks to Cowtown fan apathy.

Ideally, those outsiders should have been stared down, yelled at and booed. Dinos fans should have taken up the cause and cheered over those two strangers while challenging anybody who wants the Bears to win to some "quality time" outside. ffiet in this day and age we take pride in our unwarranted tolerances.

What we need is an embracing of differences and a welcoming of heated battles between arch-enemies. We need fans to swear their team is God’s gift to the sport and to promise to beat the living bejeebus out of anybody who thinks otherwise. We need a return to the violence, the abuse and obnoxious demonstrations that were once so common in the world of sport.

But instead we’ve turned into a bunch of pansies who clap appreciatively after a good play. Spectators think a sports event is a good venue to talk about feelings and home life while ignoring the Battle (in this case, of Alberta).

God, how I wish for the old days.

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