Once at a football game in Indiana I saw an intoxicated man on a bicycle affix a bucket to his head and ride vigorously into a porta-potty while bellowing the school fight song.
The incident probably has more to say about the effects of alcohol on poor decision making, but it’s also a reminder of the lengths people will go to cheer on the Red Team … or the Blue Team.
Speaking of Red vs. Blue — no, not Republicans and Democrats — our state has its own intra-state rivalry between the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State.
While not on the level of Michigan/Ohio State or Duke/North Carolina, the Jackrabbits/Coyotes rivalry spans time and offers its own complementary trolling between fans.
It makes sense, as few cultural institutions provoke such intense loyalties, and group belonging is biologically hardwired. How else does one explain Cleveland?
Some Coyotes fans have evidently taken their scheming to the web.
As it turns out, if you go to SDSUJacks.com, you’ll end up on a site quite different than the one you’re attempting to reach. Instead of landing on a page with Jackrabbits info, you’re instead greeted by an angry looking coyote along with the text, “South Dakota’s Team”, before being redirected to goyotes.com.
Downright diabolical, folks in Vermillion.
Actually, it’s pretty some hilarious, if innocuous, trolling. I’m a fan.
At least no actual animals were harmed, like that one time a dead coyote was strung up over a highway billboard. Yikes.
The takeaway here is you can’t disentangle the pageantry and rivalries in sports — and with them the pranks — from the games themselves.
It’s why the drunk, bucket-head Hoosier who careened his 10-speed Huffy into a urine-soaked mud hole while shouting, “Indiannnnna, we’re all for youuuuuuuu” wasn’t simply acting a fool. He was also, in his mind, helping the team.
After the thrill of victory, face paint and fist bumps make sense, kind of. At the very least they feel like they make sense. And an enemy’s agony in defeat provides untapped schadenfreude potential.
It’s why these — Exhibit A and Exhibit B — are hilarious, even oddly cathartic.And it’s why someone took the time to redirect Jacks fans to the Coyote home page.
Speaking of which, the domain “SDSUJacks.com” was registered within the past week. Does anyone know the backstory?
David Nicholson can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at Nicholson_Dave.