This is the LEAST offensive soccer fan behavior…

…I’ve read about lately.

Life of the Mind, USA: Drunk racist assholes get a lawyer.

After repeated violent racist events on the University of Colorado campus, “all of Boulder’s fraternities have been banned from renting campus spaces for a year.” Hurling racist epithets at people officiating at their charity football games, driving a motorcycle “at a high rate of speed through a crowd of about 200 spectators and players,” and of course everyone beating the shit out of everyone else – the University of Colorado seems to have decided that these are behaviors incompatible with university life.

In filing an appeal, the frats have hired an attorney, who puts the whole thing in perspective:

“It gets a little rowdy, as you would expect of any football tournament between 19-year-olds. …They are boys, and they get excited playing football. It’s not like croquet.”

Life of the Mind, USA: University of New Hampshire Students Do The…


[The UNH football players] became involved in a large brawl at Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. The brawl sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries.

The fight reportedly began when one of the SAE fraternity brothers refused to let a football player into a party.

Deputy Police Chief Rene Kelley said the person who was involved left the house and assaulted several other people.

… Kelley would not confirm or deny reports that the people who joined the football players in the attack were wearing masks similar to those in the movie “The Purge” or that some of those individuals were football players visiting from the University of Connecticut.

Great fun. No wonder it’s the most popular sport in the world.

“Playing in an empty stadium due to fan trouble, Marseille defeated 10-man Bordeaux 1-0 in a postponed French league game on Tuesday.

… Marseille was without Florian Thauvin and Kevin Strootman due to suspensions.

The normally boisterous Stade Velodrome was uncharacteristically quiet after fans were banned due to disturbances at Marseille’s home game against Lille on Jan. 25, when a firecracker thrown from the crowd landed near linesman Nicolas Danos. The game was delayed for around 40 minutes before play continued, and Marseille went on to lose 2-1.

The 18th-round game against Bordeaux had been delayed due to complications arising from France’s yellow vest protests.”

‘Competition supersedes morality.’

Wow. UD‘s been looking for a succinct summary of modern athletics, and there you have it! Well done.

Watching the Poor at Play

If anything proves the theory football is becoming a gladiator sport of the poor performing for the rich, it’s the billionaire president who says the NFL isn’t violent enough also declaring he doesn’t want his son playing the sport… Trump, who has declared he wants more hard hitting in football, said: nope, I wouldn’t want my 12-year-old son Barron to play.

‘“My kids aren’t playing,” Sam Taggard told me. Taggard played football years ago at Bentley University, and he says his 44-year-old body is still bearing the damage: He had back surgery two years ago and still feels the wear and tear of football on his body. He also did a clinical doctorate in physical therapy and has seen how debilitating head and neck injuries can be. Football requires kids to endanger their brain every single game, he said: “In football, you’re literally trying to decimate the person in front of you. If you’re not, you’re not playing well.”’

Good on this country’s football universities for decimating their students’ brains! Plus there’s their commitment to social justice: Consider the lovely racial angle to the current game, detailed here.

‘The massive beer vat that is Morgantown, WV’…

… has just performed its first West Virginia University student riot of the year (they riot all the time at Gordon Gee’s WVU). This one featured almost a thousand students hurling beer bottles at city workers trying to plow snow from the street students had chosen for their couch burning. As WVU sociologist Karen Weiss notes in her WVU-inspired book, Party School:

[T]he party school is itself a business, and alcohol is part of the business model. Schools lure students to attend their schools with the promise of sports, other leisure activities and overall fun. Part of this fun, whether schools like it or not, is drinking. Thus, even as university officials want to keep students safe, they also need to keep their consumers happy. 

They riot so much at WVU that it’s news when they don’t, as in this headline:


This latest riot was quite violent and quite protracted, drawing various police forces and extensive weaponry.

As a new school year gets underway, the blessings of big-time sports on campus once again display themselves.

Let’s start with the story at good ol’ Mizzou.

“So many cheaters! What are we to do?

Their tutors will write their assignments,” they said.

Then the NCAA came and chopped off their head.

At Penn State the coaches fuck boys in the shower

The big men on campus make lesser boys cower

Even the frat guys get ready to die

When the athletes at Penn State stop by to say hi.

‘After years of bond-financed stadium expansions, [the University of] Alabama will replace some student seating with a massive video board as part of a 2020 capital project.’

They really don’t get it, do they? Here’s an article about how people are abandoning football games in droves – even in Alabama (enjoy the photo of a recent game) – and Alabama thinks the solution is to take out seats and replace them with a massive screen incessantly screaming advertising in the faces of people there to watch football. Another important part of the solution is to sell booze so that already pretty obnoxious people in the stands will become much more so, driving the few families that still attend games way far away from the stadium.

When your school can’t think of anything else to do with money, and when it’s run by dumb guys, you get this result:

Moody’s rated the University of Arkansas’ athletic revenue bonds for stadium expansion Aa2 with a stable outlook in 2016, citing 200% revenue coverage of the debt service. Since then, Razorbacks football attendance has slumped. The university saw a dramatic drop in attendance in 2018, a 2-10 season that ranks competitively as the worst in the team’s history.

“Something has changed,” said … an Arkansas native. “In a state like Arkansas where there is no professional team, the Razorbacks are the major attraction. To see attendance down like that is tough. It could squeeze them a little bit in a very competitive conference.”

… The university’s Athletics Department in 2016 issued $25 million of tax-exempt and $90 million of taxable bonds to expand Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium by more than 4,000 seats to a capacity of 76,212. The once-rabid Razorbacks fans never came close to filling the stadium in six home games in 2018, hitting a maximum of 50,988 for the team’s loss to the University of North Texas.

‘This meeting was held because I kept asking how Athletics deficits were being funded. Because I continue to ask questions about ECU finances, my access to senior management has been cut off by the Chancellor…’

East Carolina’s classy football program – its larger athletic program – is beginning to piss off a generous alumnus. He shares his contempt for the deficit-ridden, student-soaking institution in a letter to the campus newspaper.

Public Funds for the Education of College Students in Connecticut in Good Hands

UPDATE: Soak the state!


“The [University of Connecticut’s $40 million athletic] deficit was plugged with $30 million in institutional support and $8.5 million from student fees.

UConn football remains the department’s most expensive team to operate at more than $15.7 million last year. Also, ticket sales for the one-win team in 2018 totaled $2.4 million vs. $3.3 million in 2017.

That resulted in a $8.7 million deficit for the football team.

As of Aug. 2018, the football program’s attendance at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford has declined by more than 48 percent since it peaked in 2008 when it averaged 39,331 fans per game, according to the NCAA.

UConn men’s basketball lost $5 million, while women’s basketball lost $3 million. It cost $11 million to operate the men’s basketball team and $7.8 million to manage the women’s program, the statement said.

UConn athletics spent nearly $17 million on scholarships and $14.4 million for staff and administrative support.

The athletic department also spent $17 million on salaries for coaches.”

Headline of the Day.

With Title-Game Prices Plummeting more than 90 Percent, Should College Football be Worried?

Experiencing the Experiential Experientiality of University Football Games

We’ve been tracking disappearing attendance at university football games for years, and as stadia truly empty out, we’ll be interested to see which school pioneers live sex acts on a raised platform above the play in order to keep eyes focused more or less on the area of the field. “The experiential experience that a fan receives — positively or negatively — will affect a repeat customer,” says a University of Texas Vice President in an article noting that even Texas schools are lucky to fill half their seats for the first half of a game.

Kennesaw State’s football program is practically brand-new, so you can imagine the excitement it’s generated. Its 10,000-capacity stadium draws 2,000 or so on a good day, and coach is pissed. “There are 35,000 students here, and you tell me we can’t get 2,000 to come to a football game?”

Fascinating Football Fascism

From a link to an article a reader, John, sent me about how fatal violence outside and racist violence inside Italian soccer stadiums mirrors “darker developments in a broader segment of the Italian and indeed the European body politic,” UD was easily able to jump to other similarly appalled analyses of the increasingly unworkable business of putting on a football match in many of the world’s countries (scroll down). Africa, North Africa, South America, the Middle East — ain’t only Europe where the world’s most corruptly run game is also the most violent.  Football, “a sport with a deeply tribal nature and a large captive audience full of disenfranchised working-class males, and thus in many ways the perfect arena for the unscrupulous populist and his macho, nativist fantasies,” has an important “function in the rise of global far-right populism.”

Global football thugs are in some intriguing ways the haredim of Europe:

Their potential for violence is … so strong that pacifying them has been a matter of public order. 

Punishment is as half-hearted as Israel’s efforts to deal with its mobs of violent tribal male ultras – the ultra orthodox – and for the same reason. Violent-Corrupt-People-Is-Us. Absurd moves like making players compete in empty stadiums (there are more and more of these Beckettian theatrics across the globe), allowing only one team’s fans to attend (The Sound of One Side Clapping), or identifying ringleaders and denying them admission to games (guaranteeing violence on the streets — exactly where a nation’s women and children are cowering in an effort to get out of range of fascist gangs) accomplish nothing. Leaders like Victor Urban want it that way. Even as tribes become smaller and smaller (“[S]tadium attendances [in Italy] plummet every year as people decide it’s better to watch games on TV rather than amid the violence and hatred of the terraces. In Serie A, stadiums are less than 60% full…”) their political and social violence, often stoked by governments, intensifies.

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