The (Un)True Blue

Ian Leonard

This Saturday, November 21st our Georgia Southern Eagles will take on our neighbors to the north, The University of Georgia, in what is sure to be an intense night of collegiate football. Despite being hosted in Athens, many of our students are ready to make the trip in order to support our Eagles during the game. Or at least, we’d like to think they are. While I like to imagine most of us are die-hard Southern fans, we can’t ignore that some people lack a basic sense of school pride. And I’m not talking about the person who wore a Harvard sweater to class one day because it’s cold outside. I’m talking about those people who make a conscious effort to wear their Bulldog gear nearly everyday in spite of the fact that they go to Georgia Southern. I’m talking about that person, who only talks about how they’re going to transfer in 2 years, even though no one asked. I’m talking about those who, despite the fact that they do go to Georgia Southern, continue to fantasize about other institutions as if they are somehow the answer to all of their problems.

I want to preface this article by saying that, yes, I understand that our humble Statesboro-based university isn’t the highest rung on the institutional ladder. I will always be in support of those who genuinely want to improve themselves, and if going to a larger, more specialized, or more prestigious school can help you in that endeavor, go for it. However I’ve personally interacted and met multiple people who seem to believe, for no plausible reason, that certain schools are just “better” than others. I don’t blame them, it’s partly due to the fact that we see some of these institutions in the media constantly. It’s only natural that more people would be attracted to a university that has achieved fame through athletic or academic success. In many states, popular athletic programs can take on the role of a professional team for some, like in the way that most Alabamians are either Auburn or Alabama fans. And some students simply grew up with parents or family members who attended these institutions and their pride was simply passed along to them. But what happens when students don’t end up attending that school? Why would you not adopt the same dignity and esteem for the school you actually attend, instead of the one you wish you were attending.

Now that’s not to say that you can’t like any other universities simply because you go here. There are some instances in which it would be completely acceptable to cheer for another institution. However I can say for certain that, regardless of the competition, regardless of the situation and regardless of the odds, I’ll be rooting for my school. Now I’m not telling anyone who they can and can’t show their support for, at the end of the day that’s your decision. It’s just that regardless of your future plans, or endeavors, at this moment, you’re a Georgia Southern Eagle, so take pride in that fact. Doing otherwise is just disrespectful to the institution, your fellow students, and really, yourself.