School spirit dissent

Junior explains her lack of school spirit


Photo by Brianna O'Shaughnessy

photo illustration

Story by Anna Cannon, feature editor

It’s Orange Out Day at the beginning of Texas vs. Arkansas Week. I’m surrounded by vivid shades of unnatural orange: bandanas tied as headbands, garish shirts bearing full-chest emblems of tigers and orange sweatpants that clash horrendously with the slightly different hue of their sweatshirt counterparts.

Of course, I forgot that Monday was Orange Out. And this happened to be the day I wore a red shirt.

I’ve never had a lot of school spirit. If there’s a gene for it, I was born without it. If that’s not the case, I have some sort of deficiency, and it’s definitely not going to be remedied by an overdose of orange paint and Texas flags.

I grew up in a family of hardcore Oklahoma fans. My whole family is from Oklahoma City, and, even though my mom was the only one to attend Oklahoma University, my grandparents have more pictures of the OU football team than of their family. My childhood was full of being told when the next football game was, or how well the team did, or how their rival team is going down at the next bedlam game.

During my childhood, I never once uttered my deepest, darkest secret: I didn’t really care. Football games bored me. I never liked watching the cheerleaders. I didn’t care if the team won, or if they were undefeated for the season. I just played along, because as a child, I thought I had to be interested in everything that my family was interested in.

Now, as a 16-year-old school spirit dissenter, I’m conspicuous in my normalcy. At least during Texas vs. Arkansas week. I will never purchase orange clothing for Orange Out or try to blend in with my nonexistent, forested surroundings on Camo Day. I’ve decided I have enough to worry about without trying to design a cheesy apron that has absolutely no use later in life.

I still go to all the football games. It’s not like I have a choice; being in the band requires that I pretend to care. Sure, I’ll add my support, but it’s not like I’m watching. I cheer when everyone else starts cheering.

Please don’t confuse my apathy with bitterness. I just choose not to occupy my time with decorating my car or painting signs for the game. I don’t resent Texas High– it’s actually kind of cool to see everyone unite under one cause.

So, I’ll be there in spirit. You just won’t see me wearing an orange bandana.