PRIME TIME: Don't ruin the St. V-M rivalry for everyone with stupid pranksThursday, May 19, 2005 By Becky Pelini
The Hoban-St. Vincent-St. Mary game is one of the most anticipated matchups of the season for any athlete in any sport who attends either of the two schools. Imagine my surprise when I glanced at my soccer schedule for next season and noticed that St. V-M was nowhere on it. If students do not stop turning the rivalry into a reason for vandalism and bad judgment, I fear all matchups with St. V-M might face extinction. Rivalry is a part of athletics at every level, in every gender and throughout every sport. These are the games in which every athlete plays harder and where every fan yells louder. They are often the most exciting games to watch or play, even though the outcome may not necessarily be a championship. However, there will always be those fans or players who take these games too far. They manage to blacken a competitive match by wearing shirts with expletives on them directed at the opposing team, purposely injuring another athlete or other sorts of crude and immature actions. One of the primary reasons Hoban and St. V-M are taking steps toward discontinuing the rivalry is the unsportsmanlike conduct of fans and players. Just as in any Cleveland Browns-Pittsburgh Steelers game, major problems accompany rivalries, even on the high school level. Immature and stupid students will always toilet-paper houses or vandalize the opposing school. These brainless kids, because of their sheer foolishness or sometimes malice, are one of the reasons I will be unable to compete against St. V-M my senior year. These students hurt the reputations and images of their respective schools. For my last column of the year, I want to send a message to those students who are determined to destroy a game that should be spirited but also sportsmanlike. Don't be stupid. Your competitiveness and aggressiveness is best used on the field or in the stands, where it belongs. As trite as it may sound, both schools and all people affiliated with them deserve respect. That is the only way the rivalry will be able to continue.