I like to think I know Larry Moneta better than most students. I met him the first week of my freshman year. I was in a bind because a bunch of boxes I had shipped from home had yet to arrive. My mom freaked out, but L-Mo calmly led us to a RLHS office that could help us find our lost packages.
Since then, we have seen the L-Man at several Parents Weekend football games. My folks always enjoy his company at Duke events in New York City.
I think I know Larry Moneta enough to assure you that he is NOT an idiot.
That is why I have been greatly disturbed by a rumor that has become widely-known around campus-that Larry Moneta and the Duke administration plan to crack down on Tailgate.
Say it ain't so, L Mo.
Although most students are convinced that the death of Tailgate is inevitable, I hope to argue otherwise. My reasoning is this-Larry Moneta is NOT an idiot.
Certainly Moneta would realize that ending Tailgate would basically kill student attendance at football games.
Larry, I hope you realize that we go to football games because we're drunk, not in spite of it. I'm not blaming Ted Roof for the team's ineptitude, but my patience is running thin-I'm pretty sure he's used nine quarterbacks over the past two and a half years.
Moneta must have the iota of foresight necessary to realize that students are going to continue to Tailgate anyway, even if it is not sanctioned by the University.
But then again, what possible repercussions could accompany a party scene that is moving further off campus? Oh wait.
Furthermore, Larry would never be thickheaded enough to ignore the double standard he would set were he to kill Tailgate. Last year, I saw several students being taken away from K-Ville in an ambulance. Why not shut down K-Ville? Because it looks good in admissions pamphlets? Because of the influence of a certain Polack?
Moneta wouldn't be dumb enough to further legitimize the belief that the administration doesn't give a damn about the wishes of the student body. This past season the students permitted more University supervision at Tailgate.
The University wanted to ensure the safety of the students, and the students didn't want to lose their privilege to Tailgate-the "Don't Fumble the Tradition" compromise was struck and implemented with what appeared to be great success.
Surely Larry would understand the message that would be sent to students were he to renege on this quid pro quo.
Finally, it is doubtful that Moneta would be brash enough to assume that the students wouldn't become highly suspicious of the timing of the decision-Tailgate is axed the same week as the rape allegations against the men's lacrosse team become public.
If Tailgate does get cancelled, I would be upset. I would feel that Larry Moneta was just waiting for the student body to f- up, so he could use it as an excuse to radically alter Duke's social scene such that it resembles that of Harvard, Yale and other boring and pathetic institutions.
Of course, Duke students didn't f- up.
The administration drops the ball by turning a blind eye to the behavior of the lacrosse team, and the students get screwed by losing Tailgate as a result?
That ain't right.
And I'm sure L-Mo understands that ain't right. Larry Moneta is NOT an idiot.
Even if Larry were obtuse enough to go through this irrational thought process and came to the decision that Tailgate had to be killed, there is one superlatively stupid thing that no one would think about doing-not telling the student body and letting the rumor fester.
Why would L-Mo deny the students the right to know his decision? Why would he suppose that we are not mature enough to understand his thought process? If there was solid rationale behind his choice to end Tailgate, I'm sure he would be brave enough to expect us to understand it.
Larry Moneta would tell us if he intended to kill Tailgate.
Larry Moneta is NOT an idiot.
Greg Czaja is a Trinity junior. His column runs every other Wednesday.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.