Editorial: Stop celebrating destructively


Tiffany Herring/Iowa State Daily

A man takes a photo of a street sign that was knocked over during a riot on the corner of Welch Avenue and Chamberlain Street on April 8, 2014.

Editorial Board

How fantastic was this year’s March Madness? Besides Iowa State’s early exit, if you’re even slightly a fan of college basketball, you had fun on that ride. The Big 10 showed up in full numbers, placing two teams in the Final Four; Wisconsin captured hearts with antics during news conferences; Michigan State proved that No. 7 seeds are just as dangerous as No. 1 or 2 seeds; Notre Dame gave Kentucky a scare before Wisconsin crushed any hopes of making the prolific 40-0 run. Thus leads us to the point of the editorial.

Instead of celebrating with camaraderie at bars, parties in homes and just staying in and admitting defeat on an otherwise historic run, Kentucky fans went out and threw flaming objects across a crowd of more than 1,500 people. A total of 31 rioters were arrested due to lack of respect and this has only furthered the destructive sports tradition.

Yes, it’s become a tradition to dismantle, destroy and inflict injury on a person’s community in the name of celebration. During the championship week of the Frozen Four, the NCAA tournament for hockey, Minnesota students rioted twice in one week. The first came in celebration of the Gophers’ advancement to the championship match, and the second in anger after the Gophers’ loss in the title game. A total of 19 people were arrested on the second night, according to the dailymail.com. Street fights took place along with police in full riot gear. Trash, bottles, cans, you name it, littered the streets of Dinkytown, the downtown campustown area on the University of Minnesota’s campus.

In 2014, Kansas fans tore down the goalposts in one of the end zones after the team’s victory against Iowa State. Ole Miss did the same by dismantling the goal posts and taking it through the streets. Even ISU fans destroyed parts of Campustown in “celebration” of Veishea last year.

So why have we let this become such a vital part of celebration of the great accomplishments those around us have been able to achieve? Why was burning couches in the streets a “rite of passage” in Morgantown, W. Va.? Lawmakers there recently passed a ban that prohibits the “having of or burning of upholstered furniture on exterior properties.” While it’s a step in the right direction to be cutting down on the asinine and nonsensical actions of those who don’t understand the difference between a simple right and wrong, the fact the action had to be taken in the first place is dumbfounding.

So before any sporting team or celebratory event makes its move toward fame and national recognition, keep in mind all of the wrongdoings by our fellow college peers across the nation. Maybe if there ever is a national championship quest or Veishea-like event, ISU students will be the frontrunners in a new, respectable tradition of celebrating.