Paisano is Back!

Many readers of the book Confessions of a Spoilsport have said their favorite character is Paisano, the Rutgers student and football fan who stars in Chapter 8, "I Am An Alumni!" For those who haven't read the book, here's a sample of Paisano taken from a Rutgers booster board, with original spelling and punctation:

 The original Paisano:

"Im a freshman and I live on Livingston. Livingston sucks, the only good thing about it is you can park there and I could walk to the RAC. I HATE LIVINGSTON, there is nothing to do, and everything is second rate (aergo I applied to be a Rutgers College student next year). Almost every obstacle has been placed in my way to enjoy myself here. . . . My room is next the RA, the 4 other guys on the floor, do nothing but sit around on Thur/Fri/Sat nights, they are against parties and are antaganostic to people who enjoy them.

This is a microcosm of what is wrong with the the RU community. Here at Rutgers we have a group (a vocal one at that) that want to impose their will on the rest of the student body, these are the same groups that are protesting outside of Brower everyday. .. . They say (the people I live with) that these parties are nothing more than LOUD music (no I dont live in a nursing home), drinking, "slutty" girls and people acting stupid and immature. DAMN RIGHT AND WHATS WRONG WITH THAT? . . .

I have tried hard to meet people who like me (they do exist and feel just like I do) like parties, booze, and chicks. I go to frat parties almost every week, I went to almost every home B-ball game and football game. . . . But these people make it hard. On top of them, there is a SS-like police force here that go around LOOKING to bust kids, and administration that is trying to shut down what they consider a negative aspect.

Now these same groups are the ones hurting RU athletics. Groups like the Rutgers 1000 are snobs who thumb there nose at athletic achievement. If I had the pleasure of being an RU athlete I would be personally insulted at the actions of this crackhead Dowling. . . .

I was angered by the comment made in the Targum by some RU 1000 dork, who said that after seeing the workout video that the Big east was a mistake and "the players are paying for it with their lives." Obviously she has never participated in any sporting competition and cant appreciate the hardwork that athletes undertake. I guess she only values the hardwork of studying for some calc exam. (There are
other things in life ya know.) . . .

We need a stronger and more vocal student body that will fight just as hard as the RU 1000 in favor of RU sports and "less culturally valuable and wholesome activities." RU has to be a place where were safe to have parties whenever we want."


--La fimmina e comu lu gattu: cchiu chi l'allisci, cchiu la cuda crisci. Eng. A woman is like a cat: the more you pet her the better she feels.--

Paisano had a friend named Fatbitch. Fatbitch posted on the booster boards too:

"That is the kind of attitude that everybody should have at RU.

We need to send some advice to these RU .47 members

#1 dislodge the stick from your A**'s

#2 go to an RU Football game


#4 go to a party after the game and celebrate an RU Victory with a nice cold Brew!

Posted by FATBITCH5

RU1000 argued that turning Rutgers into a sports factory would draw more and more undergraduates like Paisano and Fatbitch -- low-SAT students who walked around talking about how Rutgers needed more "parties, booze, and chicks." RU1000 argued that if Rutgers became a football franchise instead of a university, it would start to resemble low-level sports factories like UConn and West Virginia and Ohio State, where students get drunk and riot after games to show how much "school spirit" they have, and feel cool because sometimes they actually get to hang around and sniff the jock of a football or basketball player they consider "popular."

UConn students celebrate basketball victory.

This was not, as it turns out, an idle fantasy. It was happening all over the "Big East" conference. At one "Big East" school, UConn, students got pretty well known for getting blind drunk and rioting and overturning automobiles and setting fires in the downtown after basketball games. At West Virginia, they did the same thing after football games. At Rutgers, the first sign that the "big time" sports buildup was bringing increasing numbers of Paisanos to campus came when the RU basketball franchise played Michigan in Madison Square Garden:

In Madison Square Garden, where fans from the two teams were mixed together in the same sections, Rutgers students were proud of having physically intimidated Michigan supporters. "There was a brawl behind me between two drunk RU students," one undergraduate reported. "The Mich egghead fans were very scared all night. They were literally afraid to cheer. The atmosphere definitely had an edge to it. We have great fans and last night was awesome."

I didn't quite understand why these students -- undergraduates, after all, at my own university -- seemed so filled with pride about ugly or violent behavior. But there seemed to be no question that they were proud. "No fights around where I sat," one reported, "but before the start of the game, there were many, many chants on 'Michigan sucks' on the way up to our seats." Another student was pleased by the atmosphere of intimidation he and his classmates had produced. "I saw several RU younger fans giving the finger to the face of the middle-aged Michigan fans in the area," he proudly told the boosters. "Michigan fans just walked away."

When the game was over, New Jersey commuters got a firsthand view of the new Rutgers that was emerging in the Big East era. There were numerous fights on the New Jersey Transit trains taking undergraduates back to New Brunswick. "The poor people in that train did not know what hit them," one student boasted happily. "We filled that train with scarlet and RU chants were started on the train. One passenger who I was standing next to commented that he hopes RU doesn't get too good, because it would make their lives a living hell!! I thought that was great. I said, 'you better learn to love it. You better learn to love it'."

The resemblance of these students to the rioters at UConn, or the Ohio State students who set fires in downtown Columbus, needs no comment. Still, Mr. Mulcahy and the Scarlet R boosters seemed to see nothing wrong. Nor did the Daily Targum, which filled its next day's issue with celebratory stories about "Scarlet Pride." Nor did the sportswriters at the Home News Tribune, one of whom quoted a Rutgers freshman as saying that, sitting there in the stands at the NIT, he had felt for the first time like he was "at a real university."

--Confessions of a Spoilsport, Chapter 8

RU1000 also predicted that students like these would come to dominate the university. Since Rutgers joined the "Big East," over 70% of New Jersey's top students have begun leaving for out-of-state colleges. In New Jersey, more and more of those who stay are choosing The College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State), which made itself into a leading public liberal arts college by raising admissions standards and pursuing sports at the Div III non-athletic-scholarship level.

The major worry, said those familiar with RU's admissions statistics, was this: if more and more "Paisanos" and "Fatbitches" and "Foxladies" came, they'd drive out the dwindling number of bright and intellectually engaged students entirely. Then, with fewer and fewer top students applying, RU's rapidly sinking admissions standards would drop through the floor. Within a few more years of competition in the U. of Louisville-University of South Florida "Big East," Rutgers would be left with a student body made up of low-level open admissions types who spouted obscenities and screamed about how anyone who wasn't exactly like them were "brown nosers" and "losers," and how the high school classmates who left them and New Jersey behind to go on to places like Harvard and Yale and Amherst "couldn't get laid."

Has it happened?

Well, there's no firm evidence, but there's some. A Rutgers 1000 blog that takes comments from visitors has drawn quite a few that seem to say a lot about the atmosphere on campus. Most were made in connection with a Rutgers 1000 Tee-Shirt Contest. These writers do, at any rate, speak the Paisano-Fatbitch idiom -- "dork," "brown nosers," "you suck," "fag," "losers," "tools," "get laid," "talk shit," "dude," etc. -- and seem to display the basic mentality. Some (see "Adam," below) swagger around making ugly booster noises and thinly-disguised threats. A sample:

Well, let's suppose that things take their inevitable course. Every top student in NJ starts to avoid Rutgers like the plague. The only individuals who go there are the ones who couldn't get in anywhere else. They talk about "brown nose" and "talking shit" and "loser" and "fag" and "bullshit" and "getting laid." They just love going to football games. They love painting their faces and yowling from the stands. Drinking beer. Then, after four years, the university formerly known as Rutgers gives them a piece of paper.

What happens then? It's pretty easy to say, actually. They become RU boosters, just like the types who are thrilled about the stadium expansion and "Touchdown Club" meetings and "How do you think we'll do against Fresno?" and "We need more pass dee-fense," and all like that.

But how do these people live their lives after college?

We happened to run across a page on a Rutgers fan site that suggests what the after-college lives of RU boosters looks like. It seems pretty depressing to us, but we'll bet it doesn't to "Mike B" and "Jock" and "Foxlady" and "RU1000 SUCKS" and "Spanking my Monkey" and "Adam." It's what they'll be doing themselves in five or ten or fifteen years. Here's a link they can click on:

Meet the Boosters

Meanwhile, RUGLA and Foxylady and the rest, let's keep those sparkling witticisms coming in. They provide a great view of the world that "Big East" sports are creating at Rutgers. We want NJ high school students -- especially the ones with 700+ on the SAT math and verbal sections -- to read them before choosing a college. If they happen to be thinking of college as a time of inward growth and intellectual development, preparation for a lifetime of future learning, we hope it helps them make up their minds about the "new" Rutgers. We do indeed.