i am amused…

if somewhat dismayed, by the continuing disconnect between partisans of The Citadel and Princeton over the events of the weekend.

before continuing, i must say i did not witness any of the events in question. all of my knowledge of what happened has been through various news media and other sources.

there is no question that the pre-game altercation was avoidable and uncalled-for. there is also no question that the surrounding of Princeton’s band members in the stands during the game was needlessly threatening and unwise.

but there is also no question that many of the folks on both sides of the issue are idiots.

Princeton’s band is a scramble band. scramble bands, by their nature, are irreverent and often in poor taste. it’s not that they wanted to cause hurt – they thought they were funny. and, to some, they are. there is a long history of using cultural flaws and oddities to generate humor. while the program the band prepared appeared to be inappropriate for an all-ages show (as one expects football to be at the Citadel), i cannot believe there was any harm intended.

the Citadel is a culturally southern school. by this, they expect visitors to act with a certain decorum and to respect their customs. when the Princeton band didn’t, the cadets were understandably upset. the physical threat that followed was uncalled for, but totally understandable.

some may wonder whether i blame anyone for what happened this weekend, since i don’t see any intention of ill will on either side. and, in fact, i do.

the blame lies almost completely with the Citadel’s administration. whether from a lack of understanding of the Princeton band culture or that of their own student body, they were remiss in their duties. if the Princeton band was to be allowed access to the campus, they should have been provided with guidance on what was and was not acceptable. in addition, the Corps of Cadets should have been warned that the band would be coming. to expect cadets, already involved in the competitive activities of a Field Day, to simply ignore an apparent “invasion” by the Princeton band is ludicrous.

neither side seems to be able to look at the other’s point of view. the Princeton boosters feel their band did nothing wrong and were needlessly assaulted – and they’re right. the Citadel cadets and supporters feel their honored traditions were being trampled and the Corps rightly defended them – and they’re also correct.

but two rights can still make a wrong.

quote of the day:

“From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it; from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.” – Aggie proverb


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