GUEST COMMENTARY: Harsh critique of fans unnecessary

I respectfully have to disagree with the assessment of UH’s student body at the Texas Tech game this past weekend.’ What we witnessed that night was most certainly one of the top five biggest games for the UH football program in the last 20 years ‘- maybe in the history of the program.’ Allow me to explain some things about that game to anyone who had never been to a game at Robertson Stadium before this past weekend.

First off, if the concern was that too many students would attend, the UH Athletic Department did something that hasn’t been done at least in the last few years ‘- they capped the number of students that would be admitted.’ Normally, there is an unlimited number of students allowed. ‘

There were over 32,000 people there that night, so the stadium was at full capacity.’ There were 5,500 students with wristbands and 1,500 students with tickets.’ For those of us who aren’t math majors, that’s 7,000 students ‘- only one-fourth of the total attendance that night.’ That’s a pretty low student-to-general public ratio for a regular game. ‘

I was one of the people who was in line at 7 a.m. for three hours to get a wristband, and I came back to the stadium to find the place packed with people ‘- I loved every minute of it, and so did everyone around me.

Second, the students were allegedly drunk, rowdy, and yelling hateful language at the Tech fans.’ Well, that sort of goes with the territory of that game.

Mr. Nathan Howell’s commentary (in Monday’s Daily Cougar) said that he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas.’ UT is no shining example of exemplary and polite fans.’ If anyone needs a history lesson, UT fans were the originators of the Cougar Paw, which was originally intended to be a slam at UH players. ‘

As for the charge of the students being drunk, well, there are always drunk college students at football games. Love it or hate it, our stadium serves alcohol at every game.’ Get used to it.

The hateful language accusation is a bit of a joke. I’ve sat in the students’ section for three years now and have never missed a home game. UH students can make some pretty biting comments, but that’s also a part of school rivalries and high-stakes games.’ I have to wonder if Mr. Howell was aware that there were Texas Tech fans sitting in the UH student section yelling some equally harsh comments at UH students.’ Tech’s fans may have been guests, but that doesn’t mean they were saints.

No one wants students to feel unsafe and abused, but if you can’t take the atmosphere it’s unfair to expect people to change it for you.’ It would have been unfair to thousands of students to cut them out of observing the game so that the 1,500 people who bought tickets could have some extra elbowroom.

Numerous e-mails were sent out explaining that there would be space for thousands of students to attend, so no one should have had any doubt that this game was going to pack the stands.’

As a final word, if anyone finds the nature of the Texas Tech game to be something they didn’t like, then the prudent step is to stay away from the high-profile games, which will probably be every home game from this point on. ‘

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