To the Daily:
The important role of the fair-weathered fan in sports
How come when I came across Scott Bell’s column Monday (Relax, the Tigers will be fine, 04/07/2008), it was predictable that “fair-weathered fans” would be mentioned in the opening paragraph and Bell would once again portray himself as the antithesis of this fan?
This isn’t the first time the hometown slappies at the Daily have cowardly avoided criticism while attacking other fans. This past fall, I grew tired of every column defending Lloyd Carr and proclaiming that anybody who called for his head was a “fair-weathered fan.” We live in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, yet nobody at the Daily dared talk about the four-loss seasons that led some to say that the “M” in Michigan stood for mediocrity.
Now back to this recent column. Why is there no reason to be concerned about the Detroit Tigers, who have the second-highest payroll in baseball and have lost consecutive home series against division rivals? Bell isn’t a little bit worried when a baseball team hasn’t won a game in a week? He pointed out that last year’s World Series teams lost a lot of games too, but the champion Red Sox never lost more than four games in a row.
Being from Ann Arbor, I can comfortably say that I am one of the biggest Michigan/Detroit sports fans out there. I won’t deny that there are fair-weathered fans and agree that we should not panic about the Tigers. But criticism is OK, and it doesn’t just come from “so-called die-hard fans.” Without criticism, we settle for mediocrity, whereas real fans expect championships.
Like many, Bell must have been rejoicing after our football team won the Capital One Bowl against Florida. On second thought, he may have been the only one, since apparently he was the only passenger on the bandwagon after two season-opening losses and another loss to Ohio State.
Bell may call everyone else a “fair-weathered fans,” but we can only be envious of his world where the sun always shines.
Looking beyond stereotypes when covering the Greeks
For three years now I have been holding out hope that eventually the Daily would attempt to cover the Greek community as just that – a community composed of smaller, close-knit organizations sharing much of the same goals and passions in life. But Monday I was let down yet again by an article about the Interfraternity Council’s proposed alcohol policy (Alcohol policy gets mixed reviews at frats, 04/07/2008). Instead of shedding light on how the Greek community is trying to improve its image and increase safety, the Daily once again painted Greeks as drunks who only have one thought: “Me want beer.”
This news story came on the heels of yet another opinion column blaming the IFC for bad media relations (Giving Greeks press, 04/03/2008). Coupled with the articles predictably run in the Daily each fall criticizing Greeks, these articles just add to the divide between those who choose to go Greek and those who don’t.
I will continue to hope that one day the Daily will cover the Greek community’s other efforts in support of various charities, instead of drinking, hazing or media relations. I challenge the Daily to move beyond the stereotypes, and I promise that if it does it will find engaging and intelligent individuals seeking to become what every other student here strives to be: “The leaders and the best.”
The letter writer is a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.