Several players for the Appalachian State football team showed their true colors yesterday after getting into a fight with each other on the sidelines in the second half of the Montana State game. The game, which marked the I-AA championship playoff semi-final round, was played on national television.
The player's coaches say that they attribute this type of behavior to inbreeding common amongst mountain folk. "What do you expect from a mountaineer?" one coach said, "too many similar chromosomes."
Coaches say that they have to deal with these issues all year long. "It's always interesting to see who shows up for Homecoming, The Adams Family, or The Munsters, The Beverly Hillbillies, or The Osborne's," one coach who preferred to remain anonymous commented. "I think that they are having a field day down in cultural anthropology," he continued. "I always have to remember what I'm dealing with. You saw the movie Deliverance."
And, yes, that has become the mantra for Appalachian State fans, who have seen their team go 10 and 0 this season, cheering against opponents this year. Fans can be heard chanting, "Squeal like a pig!!" "Squeal like a pig!!" "Squeal like a pig!!" A very intimidating suggestion for opponents I think.
Another tactic Appalachian State is using against their opponents is their locality. In recent years, they have scheduled their toughest opponents for home games in the middle of October which is, by no accident, the peak of the leaf season. The beautiful fall foliage distracts opponents and their fans and causes them to take their mind off the game.
"No one who is not used to seeing this kind of beauty can concentrate," said one fan. "It's definitely the kind of aphrodisiac that could tempt one into going to bed with their sister, or mother."
Coaches say that they have to be careful with statements like, "We are all family here," because, in fact, many of the players and cheerleaders are all actually related.
A spokesman for the players cited in the infraction said that they were only playing around and wouldn't do anything that the chancellor wouldn't do himself. The player was referring to the ASU chancellor's exuberance during the game in which he was seen whipping up the crowd and riding up and down the side lines on a camera dolly. After ESPN cameras turned back to the game and away from the chancellor, he was reported to have pulled down his pants and mooned everyone in the stands, acceptable behavior for a chancellor in this mountain school where it is becoming widely know that "Football Rules!" (as much as genetics do).
It's also not uncommon to find half of the team watching WWF Wresting in the evenings in the dorm lounge. It's a real team builder and improves camaraderie amongst the players coaches say.
Appalachian State ended up winning the battle against Montana State after letting the Cowboys come back in the second quarter capitalizing on several mistakes of the mountaineers. Critics of the ASU football team say that that has been their biggest problem all season, beating themselves, kind of a metaphor for what is going on inside each player on a genetic level. If they could actually fight the battles against opponents they would be more effective.
Appalachian State, centered in the central North Carolina Mountains in Spoon, continues to draw a local crowd and local boys to come play football for them. "Some of these boys don't even know what a football is when they get to us," said one coach. "Really, you'd think they were aliens and grew up on another planet, but we change all that, transforming them into men, or, well, something close."
Appalachian State plays Marshall West Virginia in the Gentetix Inbred Bowl next week in the Division I-AA championship.
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