Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why Villanova's new and improved sign rules are still awful


Earlier this month, I encouraged my (few) readers to sign a petition that requested that Villanova allow signs and rollouts again, hoping that it would enliven the gameday atmosphere at the Pavilion, something that has been lacking in recent years. When the news came out that they would be allowed again, I was quite thrilled.

Then I read the fine print.
  • No personal attacks 
  • No profanity or explicit content 
  • No attacks on a university or the Big East conference in general
Umm, what is this?

I totally understand the prohibition of profanity and explicit content, but the sole purpose of rollouts is to insult the opponent, its team, and the players on that team. In 1965, Sports Illustrated wrote an article describing Big Five traditions, and each of the rollouts they mentioned were insulting in nature.

An excerpt from the article in question:
All Big Five games are audience-participation affairs, and almost all are sellouts. The fans arrive bearing huge rolls of paper with which to taunt the opposing cheering section. Just before the game begins the banners are slowly unwound and passed down the row, the letters coming into sight one by one, as the members of the clergy in the audience sit nervously and hope that the canons of decency will not be trampled as they have been in the past. The banner game got so far out of bounds that Big Five officials have ordered them screened by faculty members. One memorable St. Joseph's banner observed that LA SALLE IS AN ARMPIT. When another St. Joseph's roll-out proclaimed, LA SALLE IS YELLOW AND BLUE BUT MOSTLY YELLOW, the La Salle fans quickly unfurled: IS THAI WHAT THE JESUITS TEACH YOU? The clerics of the three Catholic schools in the Big Five frequently find themselves perplexed over the banners, and call upon their lay friends for translations. Last year Villanova students harassed St. Joseph's star Steve Courtin with a rollout saying, STICK IT IN YOUR EAR, COURTIN! The next day Jeremiah Ford II, Penn's athletic director and one of the founders of the Big Five, received a phone call from the Rev. Joseph M. Geib, S.J., faculty moderator of athletics at St. Joseph's. As Ford tells it, Father Geib said, "Jerry, are there some things that I should know about life? I didn't see anything wrong with that sign." Ford assured Father Geib that the interpretation was all in the eye of the beholder.
The article very specifically says that the rollouts are meant to taunt the other team and its fans. Personal attacks and attacks on other universities are absolutely necessary in the pursuit of that end. Rollouts are akin to rap battles, and could you imagine a rap battle without insults? I know I couldn't.

Suggest your own rollouts on twitter by using #VillanovaRollouts

Also, don't forget to follow my glorious twitter account @TheFoyeEffect

No comments:

Post a Comment