In all fairness to Bob DeCarolis, I need to update folks on the bead-flinging incident. Bob has taken a lot of heat from fans this season, so I want to acknowledge something he did well. First, however, I don’t think the reporter from the Gazette Times ever filed a story using my interview, so I still have a 15 minute credit out there somewhere. Mr. DeCarolis made an effort to speak with Hog and me before the Stanford game. He had previously emailed me to tell me that he wanted to meet. He spotted me as I was headed into Reser Stadium, and said he would meet me in the Loge in a few minutes. True to his word, he stopped by our table and spent some time talking about the situation.
He had a very realistic viewpoint about the whole situation. He stated up front that the whole idea is for people to have fun – his words, “have fun”. That got the discussion off to a good start. We put forward the promise to not “try for distance” in the future, but to fling thee beads in a kinder, gentler manner. He assured us that handing beads down to folks was certainly OK, and acknowledged the overzealous foolishness of trying to prevent us from doing so. He briefly mentioned the “eye” factor (ala “A Christmas Story”), but acknowledged, with a wry smile, that the same type of beads are sold in the stadium itself.
What gave me the greatest reassurance was his acknowledgement of what we all had concluded during the time immediately following the prohibition – someone without authority or control of their lives or circumstances seized upon an opportunity to exert some measure of authority and control over someone else. He wasn’t referring to the State Police – he was referring to the person who initiated the complaint.
We agreed to sit down and talk about the situation once the football season was over and the holiday hubbub behind us. Several times he stated that he was certain we could arrive at a solution that would make everyone happy.
Throughout the discussion he was amiable, concerned, willing to listen and, most importantly, seemed intent on reaching a conclusion that would enhance the fun of game day at Reser. I am looking forward to sitting with Bob again in the next month or two and putting this whole incident behind us.