Letter to the editor: A response to “Tradition or Bad Habit”

Boys cheer for the Mavericks Friday, Sept. 12.

Marisa Murillo

Boys cheer for the Mavericks Friday, Sept. 12.

Patrick Kowalski

Senior varsity football player Patrick Kowalski sent a letter to the editor regarding “Tradition or Bad Habit,” an editorial published in our September issue.

Hello. I’d like to discuss the recent Review article about pots and pans. Firstly I’d like to say I can appreciate the bravery it must have taken to challenge an old tradition at St. John’s. The article definitely swims against the current, though I believe it is completely inappropriate. Several of the football players feel as if the article made several baseless assumptions about the tradition and culture within football. Pots and Pans isn’t mandatory at all for any JV football players. It is a choice. It’s not needed to go up to varsity, and it certainly isn’t needed to attend the game. Pots and Pans is a tradition open to the entire student body, not just football players. Anybody can participate. There is no pressure to join or not. I only ever brought a pan once. Plainly, anybody can bring a pot or pan or neither. In regards to the body paint, which is equally optional, the article grievously offended many of the players. Many of us feel like the article sought devils where there weren’t any. St. John’s has gone through great efforts to leave behind a legacy of racially charged traditions. This article steps on and lessens those efforts while actively seeking out controversy in a newer, wholesome tradition. The St. John’s colors are red and black. The fans don’t only paint themselves black; they do indeed use red paint sometimes, too. I have old pictures saved away of this, if there is any iota of doubt. The fans paint their bodies black, not their faces. They don’t make any efforts to portray cultural stereotypes, nor are there any racist jokes made in the stands. We are the St. John’s Mavericks. Our colors are red and black, and our words are “Not without honor.” We don’t support anything less. Feel free to approach any football player at all if you have questions. I strongly feel like an apology needs to be made. The article jeopardizes an innocent, loved tradition, and it would be a travesty if it went away for no good reason. Otherwise, I loved the paper, and I wish you the best of luck this year.