Where “School Spirit” Crosses the Line

This Monday, students returning from a three-day weekend were greeted with a showy display of school pride, as nearly every hallway in the building was decked out with ribbons, balloons, and posters, some building up our school spirit and others aiming friendly jabs at the Hornets in preparation for Friday’s Pigskin Classic against Pueblo County High.

(Click for proper orientation and caption) However, not all jabs were so friendly. As of the beginning of 5th hour, the figure depicted here is what greeted students as they descended the flight of stairs near the DECA store.

It’s not hard to tell that the figure is a County High School football player, suspended upside-down by a rope tied around his feet. The rope is weighted with a football—that’s the weird brown blob.

This practice of hanging upside-down is an exotic stunt sometimes practiced by the likes of David Blaine. However, this
practice can have serious health risks regarding blood flow and potential brain strokes. It is for this reason that some governments have practiced hanging victims of political or religious persecution in this fashion as a form of torture.

I would argue that given the context of his dangling pose, our friend the Hornets player is not attempting a Blaine-like stunt but is perhaps the victim of a darker shade of ridicule than can normally be found in the halls of PWHS during a typical Pigskin Classic season.

While it is acceptable — even good for school spirit — to rile the troops in the buildup to a big game, it is not acceptable to portray this kind of pain and suffering in an opponent, especially given the implications of this pose. This gimmicky display abandons any sportsmanship in an attempt to rouse a fleeting laugh.

We should expect more at our school in the name of competition and the celebration of human athleticism that our football games really are. Dirtying this competition with the black mud of hate exhibited here is not in line with the high moral standards of Pueblo West High School and cannot be tolerated in any setting.