Iowa State, Ames Police launch respect campaign targeted at game days


Max Goldberg/Iowa State Daily

Fans cheer during a game against the Kansas State Wildcats, Oct. 29 in Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclones would go into halftime down 17-3.

Alex Connor

The slogan is simple: Be a fan in the stands, not a pain in the grass.

As part of a fall campaign launched Wednesday by the Iowa State and Ames Police Department, the two departments are hoping to extend a message of respect as fans flood Jack Trice this football season. 

“This particular campaign is focused on football and game day behavior,” said Anthony Greiter, community outreach officer for the Iowa State Police Department. “We want to encourage people to not be a pain in the grass.”

“A pain in the grass” as defined by Greiter could be someone causing problems both in and outside the stadium. That could also be through traffic or alcohol violations or general disrespectful behavior.

The campaign, with support from the Iowa State Athletics Department, also encourages fans to buy tickets to the games compared to just tailgating outside. 

“We don’t want them to cause problems in the stadium, and we want them to go in the stadium to support the Cyclones and the game day experience,” Greiter said. 

The main message of the campaign, Greiter said, is to be respectful. This is branching off the police department’s campaign this past spring “Donut Disrespect.”

“We’re going to follow the ‘Donut Disrespect’ theme as like a parent company to this individual campaign,” Greiter said. 

‘Donut Disrespect’ promotes being respectful to one another and of each other in an effort to better community relations and unite the city.

The Ames and Iowa State Police Department’s event went viral after a video of Greiter and Ames community outreach officer Eric Snyder stuffing their faces with donuts. 

“If we can continue that theme, and people will continue to unite, that’s our ultimate goal,” Greiter said. 

To spread awareness of their most recent campaign ‘Be a fan in the stands, not a pain in the grass’ the police will be releasing promotional videos about once a week and also handing out t-shirts with the slogan. 

In a video released Wednesday, Greiter and Snyder — decorated in Cyclone football gear — eat donuts while discussing Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell’s philosophy to raise the standard.

The two hope to release the videos spreading awareness about the campaign around respective game days, taking into consideration big events such as the Iowa vs. Iowa State game. 

“They’ll be quick, punch you with the facts, and then move along,” Greiter said.

Iowa State and Ames Police are hoping to also extend the message of respect to fans outside of the Cyclone realm, Greiter said, who will be visiting both the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to raise awareness of the campaign.

“We just want people to have fun, but do it in a respectful way,” Greiter said. “That’s kind of always been our mission.

“We recognize that not everyone is going to be alcohol-free, drug-free and ride the straight and narrow path all the way through college… but we want to encourage people to make intelligent decisions and those intelligent decisions often reflect in a way that is respectful.”