BY JAKE ROSENWASSER
Daily Sports Writer
Published January 31, 2005
“You’ve got eight words that are unacceptable. Some students call and say, ‘How can you be working with us and then throw us out of the arena?’ And I ask them, ‘Is that something you would say at the dinner table with your parents?’ And no one has said ‘Yes.’ ”
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But the students understood the message after the crackdown on Friday. During Saturday’s game, there were varying estimates about the volume of the cheer, but there was one stark change: most stopped screaming “cocksucker” at the end of it.
On one side of the student section, some of the students screamed “bed-wetter” in its place. On the other side, some of the students yelled, “We love you, Red.”
“I would (say) that it was quieter tonight than it was last night,” Stevenson said on Saturday. “I think the students were conscious that we were trying to evaluate what was going on.”
Another meeting between the season-ticket holders and the athletic department has been scheduled for this Thursday in Schembechler Hall.
“We’re looking forward very much to our dialogue with students Thursday night,” Stevenson said. “(We’ll) talk about where we can go from here. But clearly we’re going to stay after this issue until it’s resolved. For (Michigan) State this Friday night, we’ll be following the same procedures that we did this weekend, and, hopefully, we’ll have fewer incidents and warnings. But we’ll do whatever students make it necessary for us to do.”
An Alternative Chant
Even families who sit directly opposite the students have found ways to deal with the vulgarity. That is, if they can even make out what the students are saying.
“We can’t hear it most of the time anyway,” said Jamie Binkley, who comes with his wife, Wendy, and their two grade-school daughters. “Unless it’s a big game like Michigan State — then it’s crystal clear.”
But the Binkleys — who are big hockey fans — do not find Yost to be any worse than the average hockey venue. Just a few weeks ago, when the Binkleys traveled to another CCHA arena, they heard Michigan goalie Al Montoya get jeered in an inappropriate fashion.
“At Western Michigan they were chanting ‘gay Al,’ and our daughters asked us what they were chanting,” Wendy Binkley said. “We just handled it as parents and told her it was a bad chant.”
At Yost, the Binkleys have found a way to make sure their daughters are not affected by the C-YA cheer — they have made up their own G-rated version.
“When the guy goes in the penalty box we say: C-YA, get-in-your-time-out-box-bad-boy-you-stink,” Wendy Binkley said with the help of her daughters.
But the student section surely won’t amend the lyrics without a fight.
How loud does it get?
The mother of a young Michigan fan who attended Friday’s game was concerned about the C-YA cheer but not to the point of canceling her season tickets — yet.
“From where we’re sitting, it’s hard to hear them,” said Colleen Martinez, who brings her 10-year-old son John-Michael. “But you can pick stuff out, and you don’t want him to hear that stuff because he’s only 10. If he hears it, he’ll pick it up and then he might try to imitate it. Then you have to say ‘Wait a minute. You can’t be saying that.’
“I think it’s a good idea (to pass out flyers). Maybe it will tone the cheer down a little bit, but there are so many of them. It’s going to be hard to prevent it.
“It hasn’t reached the point (where we’ve thought about not coming), not yet at least. If they push it further, then maybe we’ll have to look into it.”
Martinez’s seats are on the north end of Yost, not directly opposite the students.