The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

Filthy Friars or Friar Nation?


There is a difference between appropriate and inappropriate. the Editorial Board considers where to draw the line. 

We have all been there, the awkward echo of a failed chant that may or may not have gone too far. Whether the subject was the referee’s domestic activity, an insult to the opposing team, or just plain inappropriate, these sorts of chants have come out of the mouths of the faithful in Friar Nation.

Many times Mr. Ruch or Mr. Mills have had to calm the student section down. In the past, the student section had to be warned not to storm a court or to stop offering prescription eyeglasses to officials.

But in the words of Ron Burgundy, things have escalated quickly.

Friar Nation has quickly turned into the notorious Filthy Friars. Twice the entire student section has been thrown out of different hockey rinks. At football games more attention is focused on the stands rather than the field, and then there is the disappointing incident at the Wells Fargo Center with the Holy Ghost Prep community. No matter the facts of that story, what Mr. Algeo said is right. The perception that others have of Malvern, or at least of its student section, is that we are insensitive, immature, and out of control.

We aren’t insensitive, we aren’t immature, and we are far from out of control. But that is what has been said about us. And it is our duty to change that perception. With the student turnout at events gaining popularity, the issue of inappropriate behavior at Friar sporting events has become even more pertinent. The question stands, when have we gone too far and crossed the line? Where is the line?

We as Malvern Prep students are meant to be ambassadors for our school, representing the community and acting on our core values of Unitas, Veritas, and Caritas. Although nothing represents the Malvern brotherhood more than seeing hundreds of fellow Friars cheering in the stands as you work to capture the Inter-Ac title, it also is a disservice to the school and the athletes for the “Filthy Friars” to act in an inappropriate manner.

We all heard the story of the Friday night Malvern versus EA football game. An Episcopal Academy parent acted in a way no person should ever act. The father of a University of Virginia – bound EA senior, hurled a racial slur at a Friar, leading to his arrest.

In a recent letter to the Malvern community from Mr. Talbot, Mr. Valyo, and Mr. Ruch, it was said that “Malvern’s mission and athletic tradition are essential to our community. United in the Truth and by Love, our teams win with pride and lose with dignity. The same pride and dignity also play a role with our families, friends and fans.” Representing Malvern goes beyond the ring road, and we need to act as ambassadors to our school at these sporting events.

A line between right and wrong must be drawn. The question is – where? Are chants involving violence or death appropriate, even if said “in good fun”? No, they are not. We should not refer to a song about something as serious as suicide at a sporting event as the two are unrelated. Sports are not life and death. We should not encourage a goalie, “to step back from that ledge my friend,” after a goal because it is irrelevant. These are only a few of the many changes that need to be made to our cheering section.

As Malvern students we are responsible for own actions. But when we act as a group at an official event, we represent the school. We all love Malvern as the place of learning in the way of Augustine. When we represent our school, we should do it with class. We should forget the chants degrading refs, opposing players, and schools to a point where the “fun” becomes mean.

Would Friars of old chant “the ref beats his wife”? Would Brian Swanick, President of the Class of 2011, be proud of the current state of Friar Nation? We must thoroughly think about these questions, and keep in mind the way Friar Nation was able to silence the GA students just three short years ago: We have Jesus!

There is a difference between appropriate and inappropriate, and the way to find that line is to consider: Would we be comfortable shouting this alone, in front of Father Flynn?

If you only have the courage to chant something in a group, you shouldn’t say it to begin with.

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  • K

    Kim WrightNov 26, 2013 at 6:06 am

    Excellent article–spot on!! And I would love to see the return of the Friar Gorilla….

  • T

    Tom VerdiNov 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Nice work, guys. In addition, I think someone needs to reincarnate my former presence as the Friar Gorilla.

  • D

    Dr. FryNov 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    well done!

  • R

    Robert W. BoyceNov 21, 2013 at 8:17 am

    This should be required reading for all students, coaches, parents, and teachers.