Last week, Suzanne Clary wrote a Letter to the Editor entitled “Fans’ attitudes reflect badly on all of Tech,” regarding students’ treatment of her and her brother, a Clemson student, during the Clemson game. To a large extent, she was talking about me. I sat two rows behind her brother and yelled at him throughout the entire game. Additionally, in the celebration following every Tech touchdown, I offered him a high-five, which he surprisingly accepted with a level head. My words were harsh and my interactions with him were very one-sided, but it shouldn’t have been unexpected.
While she may have had good intentions, the Swarm section is no place for her to bring her brother if he’s insistent upon wearing his orange and purple Clemson sweatshirt. If Suzanne Clary really wanted to turn the Clemson game into a family event, they could’ve bought general admission tickets.
Ramblinwreck.com writes about the Swarm, “This group of dedicated Yellow Jackets is the one you will often see screaming on television in the large group of yellow shirts.” Meanwhile Wikipedia’s entry on Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets says, “The Swarm is a 900-member strong spirit group seated along the north end zone… This is the group that typically features body painting, organized chants and general fanaticism.”
Most Tech football fans know that we’ve had a hard time filling Bobby Dodd on game day and were only able to do so against Clemson because such a large number of those seats were filled by Tiger fans. While this is quite embarrassing, it’s nothing in comparison to a television shot of our Swarm section showing even just one student cheering for our rivals. Could you imagine what would’ve happened if the game had gone the other way? In a sea of disappointed Tech fans, the camera would have easily been able to find the one Clemson fan celebrating in our student section.
While she does make a valid argument about “the guy sitting next to [her] who verbally harassed and physically pushed [her], a fellow Yellow Jacket,” and the Technique’s Consensus Opinion did also mention unacceptable behavior regarding Clemson band thefts and mistreatment of game staff, I firmly believe that the taunting and jeering of her brother was within the range of acceptable behavior. One does not simply walk into their rival’s student section without expecting some sort of negative treatment.