Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

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Mob-type mentality leads to bad decision making. Exposure through cameras and social media now makes those examples more likely to surface. People in stands need to realize — fair or unfair — their actions shape perceptions, good or bad.

And there’s a point to be made about alcoholism.

It’s a disease. That’s science. I’m all for giving opponents a hard time. Home court advantages are real and beneficial. But it doesn’t take too much critical thinking to connect the dots between fans chanting about alcoholism to fans chanting about cancer, or another damaging disease.

I think we can all agree some things should be off-limits, even in trash talk between bitter rivals.

The Casper Star-Tribune's Ben Frederickson on University of Wyoming fans taunting Larry Eustachy, Colorado State’s men’s basketball head Eustachy had a highly publicized battle with alcoholism several years ago, and has discussed his subsequent recovery with Colorado media. UW fans taunted the coach by chanting “alcoholic!” at least twice during the border war game last week.

UW Athletic Department marketing interns also distributed fliers encouraging this in their publication, called “The Dirt,” and published by the student fanclub. According to their site, it’s for intimidation of the opposing team: “As many of you know, we strive to provide you, the students, with the information needed to know our opponent and get inside their heads… [The Dirt] gives you all the dirty deet’s [sic] on the opponent players!!!” Here’s a photo of the flier from last week: 


According to The Coloradan, it read: “CSU head coach Larry Eustachy is quite the party animal. During his career as head coach at Iowa State, pictures surfaced of Coach Eustachy partying with and kissing University of Missouri Coeds just hours after his team had lost to the Tigers. Where will Larry party with after tonight’s loss? Maybe the Parlor… When asked about next season’s prospects, Larry Eustachy pointed out that he prefers to party after losses anyway… All jokes aside, please lock your doors and stay in groups tonight. Larry Eustachy is a horrible person.” The flier also included the above ten year old photo of Eustachy with two college-aged women at the University of Missouri.

As Frederickson stated, yes, trash-talk is a part of sports, but does that mean the UW student fan club will next mock a opposing player or staff with a cancer diagnosis? What about a player with a sibling who has Down Syndrome? How low is too low?

The athletic department has apologized for the publication, but declined to identify those responsible. Those interns should lose their internship for using university resources to produce this bullshit, and any associated college credit or pay. What they did is beyond unacceptable. And by claiming the fliers weren’t “properly reviewed,” it leaves open the question of whether or not the athletic department knew about this prior to the fans’ behavior or “The Dirt” being distributed. 

Either way, these students and interns should be ashamed of themselves. Y’all can’t act right in your own house. What makes you think anyone will welcome us in theirs? It’s not like our men’s basketball team doesn’t have any skeletons in their own closets… 

Filed under Ben Frederickson Are you kidding me University of Wyoming Men's basketball NCAA UW Cowboys CSU Colorado State Larry Eustachy alcoholism not cool Sports College Sports

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