Real Cougs don’t bully

I am not a columnist. I do not take pleasure in committing my opinions to ink because as a journalist, I value an abundance of perspectives.

When it comes to the WSU, though, rules of propriety be damned. My blood runs crimson, and I will draw a sword for any battle that questions the loyalty and hearts of my Cougar family.

Today, the tip of the blade falls on the chests of those masquerading as true Cougar fans.

After the Arizona football game Saturday, I watched Twitter, Facebook and my email explode with memes, hashtags and comments ripping apart Megan Coghlan, the co-sports editor at The Daily Wildcat. I also read all of the articles, including Coghlan’s pre-game bash and post-apocalypse attempt to relate her situation to one of a cyber-bullied, suicidal 12-year-old.

My blood, the same crimson blood I protect with pride, curdled beneath my skin. Those who took part in threatening her life, who publicly called her names I refuse to repeat: how dare you.

How dare you call yourself a Coug fan. You have now labeled our family as cyber bullies who took what is, agreeably, a shoddy piece of journalism, and used it as an excuse to threaten the life of another human being. Is that how you want the rest of the nation to view our community?

I considered letting the issue alone because writers know they hold responsibility for the words they publish. But, as a Coug fan who endured bullying from Husky fans from kindergarten until the day I graduated from high school, I am too embarrassed by the way some so-called Cougar fans react to any challenge on the university name. There is a line between bashing an opponent because it’s all a part of the rivalry and attacking with intent to harm.

During the 2010 Apple Cup, Coug fans throwing ice balls from the stands assaulted several UW and WSU football players and marching band members. My roommates and I had to move because we were in the way of flying ice and guys punching each other.

Those so-called Cougar supporters made that game about themselves. And this time, after our boys worked hard to beat Arizona, their moment of success was stolen by fans who would rather spend time cyber stalking and littering the Internet with distasteful comments.

Luckily for those who partook, they have two more opportunities to obtain the privilege of joining the true Cougar fan base: this weekend’s game and the Apple Cup.

If you are a fan, support your team and leave the inappropriate mudslinging at home. Pick your battles, have fun bashing opponents, but do not sink to the level of harming another person either physically or through the Internet.

I’m a Coug for eternity. Opponents come and go, but my team will always stay. Check your priorities: Does your blood truly run crimson?

-Christine Rushton is a senior communication major from Covington. She can be contacted at 335-3194 or by The opinions expressed in this Column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.