On the nature of rivalry

by Ben Seeley ’14

Before jumping to the conclusion that I’m condemning the rivalry outright, you ought to know that I hate Ed’s. You ought to know that my upbringing was marked by its ritualistic acts of contempt for the Birds. You ought to know that these veins run blue and gold.

Perhaps more revealing still, I should tell you that the only fundamental Truths I’ve fatefully uncovered in my time on Earth go something like this:

1) One should under no circumstance consciously attend a school whose mascot has talons, 2) If the Holy War were an architectural exhibition, That Building in Lakewood would fall victim to an annual loss, and 3) There’s never a rightful occasion for pairing green with yellow.

That’s all I really know; in fact, that’s all that any of us really knows. But that doesn’t mean we can allow our enlightened knowledge to undermine our sense of sportsmanship, and with it the beauty of the rivalry.

The answer to what constitutes appropriate behavior concerning the rivalry is dependent on who exactly is asked. Ask a member of the administration and you’ll find that the answer limits your actions; ask an Ed’s kid and you run the risk of waiting years for a coherent response. So I’ll offer a different solution.

All I propose is this: that when we start derisive chants in the stands, or even target opposing players directly (like Crawford, for instance, which was a downright immature—-yet innocent and hilarious enough-—display), we not be offended when they bring it right back. In choosing to do the arguably offensive, we just have to remember that we grant those “other” guys the right to do just the same. Which I think is totally worth it.

When all is said and done, what we can and can’t do should, if nothing more, rest on the notion that we take the high road, and that with that road comes a certain maturity, restrictive as it may be. And that doesn’t mean we can’t be loud or provocative or childish, because those are what ultimately make this game more special. I love that we can give meaning to an otherwise ordinary game through being the adolescent, occasionally over-the- top, bunch of guys we are. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Oh, but if I could leave you with one final thought, a thought to live the remainder of your life in accordance with, let that thought be this: It’s all about the E.

Go ‘Cats.