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Snowball stories misleading

Letter to the Editor | Monday, November 24, 2008

Ms. Stephan’s (“Student behavior embarrassing,” Nov. 24) and Ms. Wuellner’s (“Snowball incident disrespectful,” Nov. 24) letters yesterday lead me to assume that they were not in attendance at the game on Saturday but instead were victims of the irresponsible journalism that reported a relatively innocuous event as an all-out assault on our own football team.

While the concerns of our alums that the reputation of Notre Dame students may be at stake are well founded, Notre Dame fans have cause to be embarrassed not because of their actions but because of the way they were described by the media. Insinuating that Notre Dame fans were barraging their own team as a result of displeasure with the team’s performance – which the AP, Ms. Stephan, and Ms. Wuellner are all guilty of – is simply false. Snowballs were being thrown before the game started and lobbed primarily at friends within the section. The snowballs that made their way onto the field were most frequently aimed at cameramen and state troopers. The few snowballs that hit our own players were stupid, dangerous and distracting, but they represented a miniscule percentage of the snowballs that were thrown and were likely errant throws aimed at Oven-Mitts, cameramen or other non-athletes.

Expecting college students in the midst of a festive snowy atmosphere not to throw snowballs is absolutely ridiculous. Calling the student body immature is unfounded. Criticize our fan base for leaving the game early. Criticize our fan base for not being loud enough. Criticize our fan base for booing. But please, don’t criticize the members of the student body for acting their age and being goofy at a football game. Don’t project the behavior of three students (the number of snowballs that the AP reported actually hit Notre Dame players) onto the rest of the student body, especially when your reaction has been manipulated by shoddy and irresponsible journalism and a lack of first-person evidence.

Finally, please take your energy and emotion and pour it into another letter, this time to your local paper which ran the AP story that falsely represented your alma mater.

Michael Streit

junior

Alumni Hall

Nov. 24