Healthy competition: Local rivalries unite our community

Healthy competition: Local rivalries unite our community

Photo credit: Madi Lucido

By Madi Lucido, Copy Editor

Michigan vs. Michigan State and North vs. South are Grosse Pointe’s most familiar rivalries. Rivalry game days for Grosse Pointers result in full green and white or maize and blue outfits. Whether you’re in the stands or watching Channel 7, there is an obvious dispute between fans through outfits, flags, or even fights. But, being on the field brings both tension and motivation to players. I believe that while rivalries bring unnecessary opposition, they bring more positive outcomes than negative. 

Hearing news of violent aftermath post rivalry games is not uncommon, but the fight between eight MSU football players and one U of M player brought the controversy to another level. Whether this occurred because of a personal or external situation, the deep-rooted competition between the teams undoubtedly brought the situation to a more severe outcome. 

The time preceding rivalry game days can also have a negative effect on the civility of these games. Driving into school to see spray painted banners with negative comments about North that South students hung up before the rivalry football game lessened excitement for the upcoming game. Like the vandalism at our school, North students frequently paint South’s rock before a rivalry game. This seems to bring repercussions, such as offensive posts that often follow. 

While fans seem to be the main motivators towards an unfriendly rivalry, the competition is also used to push the teams to their best. Personally, during a field hockey game against South my team has more energy, and a certain spark in comparison to playing an unrelated school. Both this specific energy and personal connection makes us more intrigued and motivated. 

Communities can also be brought together by these annual events. Both field hockey and soccer have put on fundraisers in partnership with South to raise money for St. Jude cancer research and treatment. Even from other sides of the bleachers, the conflict is put aside. Seeing communities come together and players’ drive makes a larger impact than the separations caused by rivalry games.