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The Rivalry: F*ck You, Matt Haarms

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Sports hate, a rivalry, there is a line and Indiana makes a habit of crossing it

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Indiana Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

IU Sucks.

Two letters. Followed by one word. A chant.

In the best case, it is a cheeky wink, a reminder to the world at large when we play teams like Penn St. or Rutgers, Nebraska and Iowa, that this is the state of Indiana. While you are here to play us in basketball, it is only that to you. A game.

But we know. And though we hate them, those in cream and crimson, in the far south, we know they know, too. In ways no one else ever will. That is our fate. That is our curse.

Basketball, in the state of Indiana, is so much more than just a game and these two universities who hate and hate and hate each other, are intertwined by something deeper, a love that game.

But for the most part, IU sucks, is just an unnecessary jeer at someone who isn’t even around. It makes me cringe.

It is the last refuge of – no, we are not the little brother. We have more B10 titles. More wins head to head. We have been more often, most recently. We are the older brother. The one who has held steady throughout the years, the one that has had to sit back in our modest success as the little brother reaches up and grabs those banners. Always those fucking banners. Even if we can hold them to the ground and refuse to let them up when we’re in the same room with them.

Ah, there it is. That word. Four letters, combined with three more and attached to a name, a new kind of chant for the rivalry.

Fuck you, Matt Haarms.

For whatever childish inclinations IU sucks brings about, and there’s many valid points against the chant whether we’re playing the Hoosiers or not, it is tradition. The right kind of tradition, harmless and shameless, a jeer at the entities not the individuals.

There’s something vulgar about that phrase.

Fuck you, Matt Haarms.

It’s important. Read it. Don’t edit it out. Fuck you, Matt Haarms.

The vulgarity isn’t the cursing as much as the singularity, the unity of hate-filled voices raging over and over again directed at one kid. Decades of tough contested games, of hard-fought victories, turned up and cheapened into the antithesis of school spirit and clever student sections.

But we shouldn’t be surprised. We are not many years removed from this:

Isaac Haas’s sister is, as you’ve probably heard, special needs and family shouldn’t need difficult circumstances to make them off-limits regardless. Granted, it seems like these possible chants didn’t end up making the round, but it seemed to take a public release prior to the game and public shaming to insure these little notes to not be used to fruition.

What is it about angry hordes of people that allow you to lose your decency? Is it the anonymity of it? The cognitive dissonance? Or was your soul soiled from the start, just waiting for the moment to unleash it out in one angry yell. Two words, followed by one name.

Fuck you, Matt Haarms.

If this is the price of rivalry, if this is the other side off the coin, I don’t want any part of it. Let IU keep Kentucky as their ‘biggest’ rival.

Oh wait, Kentucky doesn’t play them anymore because they don’t want to go to Bloomington. Hard to blame them.

There’s a line in sports. The jeering, the cheers, the hostility of a thousand fans rooting against you, these are all good things. It gets your blood flowing on both sides. But these are kids. They are human beings.

There’s a line, a big one, with a big ‘do not cross’ written across the top.

IU fans either don’t know how to read or don’t care. (Probably a bit of both, again, how not clever is Fuck You, Matt Haarms for a chant?)

For a program that prides themselves on tradition, their fans show no respect for the dignity of the game.

But Karma is quick. As quick as a tip-in from a 7’3” Boilermaker who silenced a whole cockroach infestation of Hoosiers who cursed his name, who filled his Instagram inbox with more vulgarity, and he did it with a joke of his own.

On a night where the basketball was ugly, but the crowd was uglier, he had one final punch line.

Purdue 48, Indiana 46