For anyone who’s been to a Michigan football game in recent years, there’s a peculiar tradition in which the student section chants “You Suck,” to the tune of “Temptation.” It’s a student-made tradition that many enjoy, but it’s also a tradition that can make our University appear petty. It’s uncommon in the world of sports for teams and fans to come together and agree to cut down on negativity and trash talk. It’s all part of the game, right? It doesn’t have to be. And that’s why Michigan students should be commended for starting a movement aimed at banning “You suck” at the Air Force game on Saturday.
On fourth down, regardless of the score, the Michigan Marching Band plays “Temptation.” But while the band chants “Oh, Yeah,” Michigan students chant “You suck.” A few months ago, Michigan students took it upon themselves to put an end to this tradition, if at least for one game. With the Air Force game fast approaching, students created a Facebook event urging other Michigan students to chant “Defense, Defense” instead of “You Suck” during the song. More than 2,100 people have joined the effort.
This is a student initiative. And while reactions may vary, it’s great to see students striving to be more respectful at football games — especially to those who serve in our country’s armed forces. It’s important to show other universities and sports fans that Michigan students have respect for those risking their safety for our nation’s. This student objective has potential to promote respect at non-sporting events as well. By committing to this movement, students are proving they can take initiative and not simply react to an administrative decree.
University administration has been threatening to force the band to stop playing “Temptation,” but actions should not only be altered as a result of threats. As students of the University, we should realize that the “You suck” chant can be perceived as — and usually is — immature by our respected alumni base. After all, as college students, we should be above juvenile language, despite a competitive setting. By participating in the chant, we’re encouraging negativity to younger generations, as well as other schools the Wolverines face.
As students of a University with leading reputations in a multitude of studies, we should also strive to be leaders in promoting respect. This movement is a first step toward eliminating negativity. In this case, it is a matter of leading by example. As a leader in collegiate sports, we need to act the part. On Saturday, by not chanting “You suck,” we can change a less than impressive tradition.
Refraining from the “You suck” chant at the Air Force game this weekend is a simple, but necessary, way to show our appreciation for servicemen and women. Everyone should unite and participate in this effort to show respect.