The death of school spirit | Mark’s Remarks


When an idea for a column comes to mind, I turn on my phone and jot down the idea in my “notes” section. You may guess that I have a long list.

It’s interesting to look at my topic ideas. You can tell when I’ve had a long season of thankfulness or when I’ve been in a long-lasting, good mood. Thankfully, there are long lists of happy sounding topics that I can choose from to write about.

Still, it’s rather amusing to read some of the crabby sounding topics I jot down.  I guess I’ve skipped over them because some of my crabby topics were jotted down long before the COVID pandemic started.

A chunk of my crabby topic titles are devoted to sporting events. I jotted down “rude spectators” and “irrational parents.”  Thinking back, I remember being at a basketball game and being appalled about the asinine behavior I saw some adults displaying.  They oughta know better.  

I’m sure the pandemic has squelched some of this misconduct, but I’m pretty sure that with restrictions lifted, there will be plenty of lunkheads ready to roll with the same old impropriety.

I’ve never understood why the “pep club” at sporting events can’t cheer and raise the roof of the place.  To me, it looks like a large group of kids who are too cool to break a sweat.  They stand there with indifferent looks on their faces and barely crack a smile, let alone try to clap their hands. 

Once in a while, the also very cool cheerleaders (some of whom rarely smile) will come over to lead the crowd in a cheer.  Seemingly worried about a hair popping out of place or those giant bows popping off, they are somewhat subdued.  That’s about the only time I see some of the pep club cheering; but mostly it seems they are cheering to entertain each other or get the cheerleaders to notice.

They are not there to cheer on the team or do what they are supposed to do.

Now, before you say “not my kid,” let me tell you there are a few cheerleaders who get out there, smile, and actually try to get some pep going. I’m glad to see some good-natured girls out there doing the right thing.  

So, if your child is one of the kids doing their best, I’m not pointing fingers.

My money is on the band. They play their hearts out, lead one another in cheers, and do triple the job of promoting school spirit.  They do a far better job than the cheerleaders and pep club combined. I wish the three groups could work together. They’d blow the roof off!

However, I don’t think the pep club would dream of hobnobbing with the band, let alone cooperating.

And most likely, the band doesn’t want that anyway.  

Keep up the good work, band.

I was telling some friends how I felt once, and one was a former cheerleader. She said there was a day when the girls really led the crowd, hooting and hollering and getting all sweaty with exertion. They really knew how to cheer the team on back then.

Maybe they should come and give lessons.

The kids I observe aren’t bad kids. In fact, I see a lot of good-hearted, nice kids in the non-cheering group.  Somewhere along the line, someone or something has caused them to think that standing there and barely moving is the proper thing to do.  

Shame, shame to whomever that was. 

I don’t get it.

Long ago, when we rode dinosaurs to school, the pep club and band were almost too loud. The cheerleaders handed out prizes to some spectators who sported school colors and school spirit. Every person coming into that game was there to support the team.

Not sure we thought much about looking cool.  But maybe I forget. It’s been a long time.

Yes, I’m criticizing. I don’t know who’s in charge, but I feel like some adults should step in and give the pep club a pep talk.  Tell them how it should be done.

There were days when the entire town would wear game colors, paint their faces, and show up to sporting events. Concessions were sold out.  The band, the pep club, and the cheerleaders were celebrities to all of us, and they were there to build up the head honchos, also known as “our team.” They all hyped the crowd up and the team appreciated it.

School spirit used to be a thing.

Have we gotten so entrenched in this entitled “me” generation that we’ve forgotten?

It’s not just about winning.

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