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Keep The Bags To Yourselves

November 2, 2009
Stumbled across this thread on the Monkey Boards that caught my attention. Here’s the link and the opening post:

Spoke with a few students today heading out to watch the game and they had mentioned that some students are thinking about wearing brown bags next week. Not a bad idea and well deserved by our coaching staff.

I can’t begin to understand what would possess some of our fans and students from doing so monumentally stupid…but here goes.

Look, I get it. You’re pissed. I am, too. I imagine the tone of the previous post here conveyed that. I’ve been very disappointed in the defensive coaching and in coach Tom O’Brien’s stubborn insistence to shift the blame away from his coaching staff toward the players.

However, the LAST thing you need to consider doing as a fan or student is donning a paper bag, or any other highly-visible sign of discontent, to this week’s football game.

I say this primarily for this reason: Wearing a bag over your head provides any photographer or cameraman a perfect photo opportunity to land you in the paper or on TV. You may say to yourself, “Good. That’s the point.” But think of this: Any photo snapped wearing a bag cannot be “un-taken.” It will be circulated, filed away and reused at any time deemed necessary by a party outside of the university, most likely in a damaging fashion.

It could be used against O’Brien or any future coaches on the recruiting trail as an example of how State’s fanbase reacts to losing…vindictively toward their team, coaches and players. Given how folks like Gary Parrish at CBS love to continue beating the “STATE FANS ARE SO HORRIBLE” drum three years after Herb Sendek’s departure, giving them an image to tie to that inaccurate persona would be all the more damning.

If you want to voice your displeasure with the program, there are ways of doing so. You can not show up to the game, for one. Empty seats speak loudly of fan discontent without taking it too far, I think. You can also contact the Wolfpack Club, the chancellor, Lee Fowler (if you can reach him at the lake house), the Sports Information Department, etc., through a phone call or email. These are ways of keeping your individual complaint behind closed doors without drawing negative attention to you and the fanbase.

I suspect, however, that in today’s “LOOK AT ME, I’M AN ATTENTION WHORE” society that we live in, these students and fans considering donning a bag on their heads are doing so more to draw attention to themselves rather than make a statement of discontent. They’ll get “ooh“s and “oh man“s and “hey, I hear you brother“s as they walk in the stadium, along with some State fans asking them to support the team instead and take the bags off.

That attention is what these folks are after. Whether or not they think donning a bag with effect change (what, like Lee Fowler’s gonna pack it in after all these years when the bag heads show up?) is inconsequential to them. They know it won’t. They just want to hop online afterwards and get a tally on how many folks saw them or if they made it onto TV.

That kind of selfishness could damage the program beyond the three hours spent at homecoming with a bag on your head. Think about that before you do so.

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