By Robert Garbary
University of Waterloo Student
On the evening of Saturday, March 3, the University of Waterloo hosted the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) men’s basketball final, which featured Ryerson against Carleton. A large group of Ryerson fans dressed in yellow were located in the bottom half of a bleacher section, and I thought their behaviour was unacceptable (and dangerous).
For the entire game, they remained standing and cheering their team. This was unacceptable because of the people located behind them on the bleachers, and their vision was extremely compromised. I had to spend the entire game standing, and even then I was unable to see the whole court. Furthermore, there were two older gentlemen sitting close to me who plainly just wanted to watch the game and were clearly unhappy to be forced to stand. At several times during the action, they sat down because they were tired from standing, and were very unhappy about being unable to see the game. Moving to a different section was not an option, as the gym was packed – except of course for the section directly behind the fans. Several people, myself included, did try asking the fans to sit down and this had no effect. In retrospect, I should have asked the game staff to intervene, though I certainly shouldn’t have had to.
To be clear, I’m not complaining about the noise. It’s great to travel to support your team, and let them know you’re supporting them with noise. Mind you, it is a bit rude to ‘boo’ every call the referees make against your team, even when the calls are blatantly justified. I am complaining about the disrespect shown by these fans to the other spectators who paid money to come watch this game. The behaviour was extremely inconsiderate to the people who just wanted to watch the game. Furthermore, it’s just plain dangerous — at several times, the standing (swaying, dancing…) fans fell, and their feet could have fallen through the bleacher cracks, seriously injuring themselves or the people behind them.
When looking on ‘The Eyeopener’ website for where to send a letter about this, an article from last year immediately caught my attention. It was about instructors who were walking out of classes because of disruptive students. Normally I would be extremely surprised to read about this at a level beyond high school. However, after last nights spectacle, I can’t see that I was too surprised. This sort of behaviour reflects extremely poorly on your school.
To the Ryerson Rams: good effort last night and good luck in Halifax!