By Lexi Muir
Football games have always been a time to cheer on the team as well as your class. I can’t even count the number of times I heard the seniors chanting “Oh-Eight” last year, and it was always responded to by a loud and competitive “Oh-Nine” from my class. Unlike today, however, cheering for classes took up a small percentage of the overall cheering which was mainly geared toward the football team. Now, it seems very few people even know what is going on during the game, and even fewer actually care.
In his famous inaugural address, John F. Kennedy said, “Divided, there is little we can do – for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.” In his address, he spoke to America, challenging the country to unite. United, Kennedy believed America could be unstoppable, and he made that evident in his speech. Kennedy’s words are wise, and this issue he spoke of still holds true today. Only the country is Carmel High School, and we are divided. On one side, there is the Class of ‘09. On the other, there is the Class of ‘10.
Of course, everybody loves a friendly class competition. There are the Homecoming spirit challenges, the playhouse building, the 5k run/walk and many more “friendly” competitions. Unfortunately, the competition hasn’t stopped there, and it’s gotten markedly more dangerous.
The first time this problem became evident was the first home football game this year: the ESPN game V. Cathedral. Before even entering the gates to the game, the two classes went from chanting against each other to throwing bottles of soda at the other class. It became something similar to a war zone with soda bottle ammunition flying from one class to the other.
After this event I figured it was probably just the first game jitters and that everyone was just excited and pumped up for the game. I thought wrong.
The next few games had less life-threatening activities but more verbal abuse against each other. With this came even less cheering for the football team. I can count the number of times on one hand that we, as a school, have chanted something for the actual football team in the last three home games. I continue to ask myself why, if we are at the football game to support the team, we continue to chant “Oh-Nine” and “One-Oh.” How that has anything to do with the Carmel football team playing well and defeating their opponent is beyond me.
Another noticeable aspect of the student body’s cheering is that we pay more attention to the beach ball bouncing around the student section, the people throwing T-shirts and the news crew that comes than we do the actual game. I heard numerous football players mention that the loudest the student body cheered throughout the entire North Central game was when the news crew came and was filming us. And when the beach ball suddenly dropped on the track before the cheerleaders, I am almost positive that every eye in the student section was focused on that ball, and not one person was watching the game.
Maybe it is because out football team is, in fact unstoppable and the student body is bored of the fact that they demolish every team on their path to State. Maybe it’s because we feel the team doesn’t need us to cheer them on. They’ll win anyway, right?
Instead of cheering for the defense or the offense or loudly insulting the other team about how bad they are compared to ours, we fill our time with cheering against each other and paying attention to other things. For now, maybe that’s okay. The football team kills the other teams with or without the student body’s encouragement and support. But I fear for the moment when the football team needs the student body’s encouragement. Maybe that moment will not come and the team will defeat every team by a colossal amount of points until they have yet another state ring on their fingers. But when they are struggling and need that extra boost from their fans, will we be able to come together as a school and help out? Or will we continue to stand divided and fight against each other cheering for our class rather than our school?