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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Rabid UA football fan behavior unacceptable, embarrassing”

The only thing worse than having a bad reputation you didn’t earn is having a bad reputation you totally, completely deserve.

Zona Zoo would know.

The student section’s behavior during Saturday night’s heartbreaking loss to the Oregon Ducks cemented its reputation as an unruly, drunken bunch of hooligans with no inkling of how to behave with class.

Sure, the loss was a rough one. Oregon’s come-from-behind win dashed Arizona’s Rose Bowl hopes. But the game itself was remarkable, and if it weren’t for the shocking behavior of Arizona’s fans, that’s what football fans would be talking about today.

Instead, the focus has centered itself upon the shameful behavior of the Zona Zoo crowd.

First, hundreds of Arizona fans prematurely rushed the field with 31 seconds left and the Wildcats up by a mere seven points.

This was an embarrassing moment for the UA, to say the least. Presupposing victory in such a close game made Arizona fans look both arrogant and ignorant.

But it was compounded by the behavior of the students who stayed put. They began chanting insults and obscenities and throwing objects at those who rushed the field. Some were hit in the head with water bottles, others drenched with angry fans’ beverages. Luckily, none of the over-eager rushers was hurt, but not from lack of trying by their ostensibly wiser counterparts.

Then, after the Ducks won in double-overtime, the Zoo’s ire turned to the opposing team and its fans. Students hurled projectiles and profanity alike at Oregon players in a splendid display of poor sportsmanship. One Oregon cheerleader was even hospitalized after being struck in the head with a water bottle. This particular bottle didn’t come from the student section, but again, not for lack of trying.

It would be hard to overstate just how bad UA students look right now. The game was nationally televised and aired on ABC, so rather than just a handful of Oregon fans, the whole nation got to watch Zona Zoo make a colossal ass of itself. A few thousand disorderly so-called footballs fans have made this entire institution look downright barbaric and depraved.

Zona Zoo leadership has yet to make any kind of statement condemning the fans’ actions. Although they themselves may not have rushed the field or thrown water bottles, these student leaders are responsible for the management of the student section, and in that responsibility have failed miserably.

Across the board, from the executive director of Zona Zoo to the freshman who just wanted the adrenaline rush of storming the field, this incident cries out for accountability. So far, no such accountability has appeared.

It’s a rough moment to be a UA football fan. But that has nothing to do with the team’s hard-fought loss. The real loss Saturday was a loss in credibility and class for the UA as a whole.

—Editorials are determined by the opinions board and written by one of its members. They include Shain Bergan, Alex Dalenberg, Justyn Dillingham, Laura Donovan

and Heather Price-Wright.

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