Auburn Hospitality Sets Standards

Gamecock fans can show team pride without being rude, disrespectful

By Josh Dawsey, Ellen Meder and Kara Apel
The Daily Gamecock

Published: Sunday, September 26, 2010

Welcome to Auburn.

Seriously. Welcome to Auburn.

Everyone said it – while giving directions, offering food, serving free drinks and speaking to all.

They shook hands. They thanked you for visiting.

And some even apologized just in case someone else was mean to you. It almost felt like there was a planned hospitality committee in this gorgeous, quaint town on the Plains. We all were in awe- the only rude fans we saw were wearing garnet and black.

Jordan-Hare Stadium was an incredible experience due to a raucous crowd, a fantastic gameday environment and a gorgeous eagle that swooped over the stadium and sat on the sideline. The crowd chanted the entire game, but there were no rude catcalls toward USC or untoward motions to the fans, at least from our vantage points.

This small town was the best of the best. Before the game, friends told us all the campus was like Clemson. Not true. This place was pristine with class. It had character. And the people had character. They even recycled.

Contrast that with nine days ago during the USC-Furman game. Our students screamed obscenities at a measly out-of-conference opponent. There were boos when the other team took the field. We were rude to Furman. Yes – Furman.

And that’s not even considering Georgia. We all saw horrible exchanges during that game, from our students cursing out older fans to belligerent drunks throwing up in the student section to security guards escorting our students out by the multitudes.

Sure, other schools are rude. LSU and Georgia are among the worst. But as some of us have noticed, we’re getting a reputation for being among the worst, too. Do we want that? Football is fierce and intense. But we believe our student body should desire to be above the fray – above the substandard, juvenile conduct of others. What does that say about us? Are we holding to our ideals?

This is not to say we should care less. Let’s care more. But let’s show some class, some respect and some South Carolina hospitality. Let’s not scream obscenities or racial slurs at the other team.

It’s sometimes said football is a lot like life. If so, we’re leaving a lot to be desired.

Thank you, Auburn. You set the standard for what SEC football should be. If we have to lose, we’ll lose there every time. From what we saw, you gave us the best of the South and the best college football has to offer. Let’s do the same for Alabama in two weeks.

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