Monday, August 24, 2009

New Year + New People = New Niner Nation

Even if you despise old American literature I’m willing to bet you are at least somewhat familiar with “The Scarlet Letter”. And yes I said ‘bet’ even though the NCAA tells me not to.

Back to the point. You know the story? Hester Prynne commits adultery. She’s forced to wear the scarlet letter ‘A’ (it stands for adultery if you couldn’t put two and two together) on her chest almost like a badge of shame for all the townspeople to see. It’s a story of sin and much deeper themes often discussed and debated upon in ENGL 4050-Topics in 19th Century American Novel. Unfortuanely the class looks to be full.

Events at last nights soccer game reminded me of the novel…

Last night at the ‘Week of Welcome’ event before the soccer match, our athletic director Judy Rose stood before 2,000+ people (mostly freshman) and proclaimed with no notes or cue cards that she can’t stand it when she sees students in other schools colors or even worse rival schools gear. (She specifically cited two shades of blue and a certain red). She later emphatically stated, “You go to Charlotte, You are a member of Niner Nation.”

This proclamation came immediately following the chancellor telling us UNC Charlotte has over 24,000 students and this fall marks the largest freshman class ever. EVER!

Do you see where I am going with this?

In my opinion, a Charlotte student spotted with another schools shirt, shorts, hat, socks, shoes or underwear (not that I would be looking?) on their body should be permanently branded with a green ‘T’ ala "The Scarlet Letter". Why ‘T’? It stands for traitor. When you wear other schools gear you disrespect your own school as well as the athletes and students who attend it. These traitors should be marched to the Belk Tower at high noon every week and serenaded with boos and occasional obscenities. Then, as they walk away with their head down, throw them Charlotte 49ers gear to replace that other stuff.

Maybe I am taking that a little too far? Maybe that’s a little too harsh?

This may have been the proper punishment in 1850, but this is 2009. If you see a fellow classmate with another school’s gear on, talk to them. Ask them why they have it on. Ask them where they go to school. Ask them to show support of 49er athletes. Ask them to show some school pride.

I'm willing to venture people wear that crap because they think its 'cool'. Well, make them feel un-cool because that's exactly what it is. And with the largest freshman class in school history attending their first class this morning we need to make sure the sport the green, gold and white.

As a recent alum of Charlotte I am proud to say I bleed green. The thought of dawning another schools logo across my chest never enters my psyche. I understand I am in the minority. Not every graduate of Charlotte says that, at least not yet.

My favorite line from Judy last night (not verbatim, but close) “I now introduce members from all 16 sports of Charlotte athletics, but for the freshman in the audience tonight, by the time you are seniors we will have 17.”

Football is coming. Get your FSL. or

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