Opinion

Rowdy rivalry may ruin harmless fun

The University of Miami football team faces its biggest rival Saturday, and students are throwing themselves behind our school with more excitement and dedication than they may show for a presidential candidate.

What caused this brief and sudden surge in school spirit? Have students become more interested in football? No. The focal point of this elevated enthusiasm is, of course, Florida State University (FSU).

Rivalry with the Seminoles is key in drawing the UM community together. In the days leading up to the game, we have a common enemy and a shared purpose. Students discuss how early to get to the stadium and how to deck themselves out in orange and green, and they rave about our certain victory much more than they do for most other football games.

An “us versus them” mentality defines this sort of unification, manifesting itself primarily in FSU bashing. We not only joke about the Seminoles’ poor sports performance, but also about their poor academic performance. Behind our heightened love for UM is an ostensible hatred for FSU.

Of course, most of us don’t actually have any reason to hate FSU. For most students, this rivalry is just temporary entertainment. But it’s worth asking why it’s necessary to found school spirit on a fictional enemy, rather than on qualities intrinsic to UM itself.

After all, a “harmless rivalry” is only harmless until it’s not. Sports violence is not unheard of. It seems as easy as breathing, when cracking a joke about FSU in the hallway, for one to remind himself that he doesn’t actually hate FSU or any of its students. But on game day itself, rationality can easily be masked by the thrill of the competition or, in some cases, alcoholic intoxication.

The rivalry is ultimately exciting and unlikely to disappear. Nor should it; it is an indispensable part of the sports world and the college experience in general. We should all enjoy the game this weekend as well as the sense of school spirit and community in the days leading up to it.

But when you’re laughing with your friends about a Seminole’s propensity to wind up in jail or to commit socially unacceptable acts, just remember that they’re people too. Don’t let the jokes wipe away a Seminole’s humanity, or make you forget yours.

Because, after all, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

November 12, 2014

Reporters

Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

When UM coach Mark Richt summoned quarterback Malik Rosier into his office last year, a few months a ...

Quarterback Malik Rosier of the No. 8-ranked Miami Hurricanes maintains a solid third place in what ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes will look to slow down an inspired Syracuse team at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

University of Miami head coach Mark Richt was selected to the 20-member Paul "Bear" Bryant ...

University of Miami sophomore Bruce Brown Jr. was among 21 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

Head coach Katie Meier and senior forward/center Erykah Davenport will represent Miami Thursday at t ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.