I take great pride in SEC football. Tailgating with friends and family, getting decked out in my team’s colors (orange and blue, of course), chanting the Gator fight song, cheering in the student section, and celebrating our victory. It may sound silly to some, but in Florida we take football quite seriously. So naturally, when I stumbled across an an article in The Wall Street Journal about Southern football and dating, I was intrigued.
Well, it looks like fraternity gentlemen at Auburn University are in danger of losing their seats if they don’t start filling them. These young men are facing pressure from alumnae and boosters who have threatened to take away the primetime seats they have access to if something doesn’t change. The solution?
“To avoid this, they’re taking a page from their fathers and grandfathers before them: Putting on coats and ties and showing up with a date.”
Whoaa. As I read, I thought, could this be?? Is this a sign that traditional dating on college campuses is making a comeback? Unfortunately, I kept reading. And let’s just say that wearing a tie and taking a date doesn’t necessarily equate with “gentlemanly behavior”…
“According to several sophomore members of one of Auburn’s fraternity chapters, the best quality to look for in a date is that she makes a good ‘babysitter’ (read: she will take care of you if you get too drunk). Others say the best dates won’t mind doubling as bourbon-transportation vehicles. (Taping a flask to a date’s leg is, by many accounts, another age-old Southern football tradition.)”
And then there’s the question these young men must answer before they select their date. Does she know anything about football? Some men say they prefer young women who are interested in the football game; others would prefer not to take a know-it-all. It makes them look bad if the girl knows too much about football, they say.
This criteria doesn’t exactly sound like chivalry is alive and thriving if you ask me. It sounds more like dating out of convenience.
For many female students if they want to go to the game, they have to be asked by a date. And as a result, according to one Auburn female,
“Many women who love football games have no choice to put up with some less-than-gentlemanlike behavior from their dates. “
Alas, I was disappointed to conclude that as much as I love SEC football, it just might not be our best hope for a resurgence of traditional dating on college campuses. Maybe it will take some enlightened women to encourage these young fellows to keep asking ladies on dates. But then, it’s up to you ladies to demand respect. Show that you are lady, and expect to be treated like one. And who knows, maybe these football dates will end up being the catalyst for a return to dating. But it’s going to take young men AND young women both stepping up to the plate.