Tradition or Superiority? Annual “Rich Out” Game Causes Quite a Stir

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Fake $20 bills flood down, raining from the sky as students in multicolored boas and fur coats cry out cheering on the Granite Bay High School football team against their infamous rivals: Del Oro.

GBHS has had a longstanding history against the nearby DO. While this enmity spans through virtually every sport, it is most salient in the annual football game each fall when the two varsity teams go to battle, fighting for their school’s pride. 

Initially, the rivalry began as a result of GBHS and DO being the two top teams in the area. Lately though, it has taken a turn as the schools advance this animosity even further. 

Pranks were, as always, a key part of the rivalry this year, including the notorious Grizzly Bear plastered with mustard, along with the DO campus getting clothed in cheese.

However, the key part of this rivalry week was Friday night: the dress up football game. In recent years, students at both schools have taken to dressing up as the schools deemed to be stereotypes. GBHS advertised the theme as “red carpet/gala, meanwhile students and staff referred to the game simply as the “rich out;” DO on the other hand, dressed country/camo themed. 

The two separate endzones had a plethora of colors and outfits ranging from cowboy hats and boots to khakis and homecoming-type dresses. 

Students have enjoyed this game for the opportunity to dress up and participate in an event that so closely unites the individual schools. They find the game as something to look forward to, and a tradition that they look to continue with.

“I went to Party City to buy a money gun…and get (some) bling,” senior and former cheerleader at Granite Bay Kaylee Johnson said.

This tradition has been something many of them have been waiting for, especially with many events getting prolonged due to COVID.

“They did it when my brother was here (a few years back), so it’s cool we finally get to do it again,” senior and Grizz Nation leader, Colby Gravlin said. 

Nonetheless, the theme pertaining to the game has been questioned. Does the rich-out reflect arrogance and pride or does it simply play off old tradition? 

“I think a lot of students honestly find it fun…students think it’s cool to have this relationship with another school,” Lisa Vaughan, a teacher at GBHS said.

Despite the fun, however, some argue that this game has taken a toll on the students, and may believe it is utterly disrespectful in the way the schools are behaving towards each other. 

“The rivalry was there in the first place,” another teacher at GBHS, Bruce Honberger said. “There are so many other themes we could be doing.”

People question this particular theme, asking if it promotes a negative stereotype that not only is offensive but also not applicable to all the students. In an age of inclusivity, why then are schools allowing students to engage in a potentially harmful activity with little regulations? 

“It (can) be a way of showing other schools that (we’re) better than them … and that’s discouraging,” senior Delaney Roach said. “People may think that Del Oro isn’t at a good school which isn’t true.” 

However, others disagree. People believe in this game for the sake of tradition, that by playing on this stereotype, the game becomes humorous and more of a joke. 

“Personally, I think it’s fun between the schools to embrace our stereotypes and be able to have fun with it,” Gianna Seguine, a student at DO said. 

The intentions of the students remain unclear. Is it to show other schools that GBHS is superior to them? Or is this game using stereotypes, stuck in tradition?

Statistics show GBHS and DO are both rated A caliber schools, ranking very high among the schools here in California. These rankings are based on academics, teachers, diversity, clubs and so forth. 

Similarly, the town of Granite Bay is, indeed, listed as one of the most affluent towns in all of California. Because of this, these stereotypes may be fair, not completely without merit. 

The difference though comes down to the ultimate population of the students attending the school. Not all students come from wealthy families, especially considering the fact that Granite Bay is considered to be a magnet school: a school in which there are a high number of transfer students due to the different programs. 

Does this then discriminate against people and only perpetuate this stereotype in a negative light? Why might schools allow this negative stereotype to persist when the school decided to change the name of The Tribe to The Den for inclusivity purposes?

Not only do some people find this theme offensive to GBHS by portraying a negative image of the school, it questions the real foundation and aspect of the game. 

“I think in this day and age, we’re reevaluating what it is that we want and don’t want to be held by stereotypes,” Vaughan later said. “So why do we let this one stay and not the others?” 

“We have the potential to make a rivalry with DO something that is really empowering,” Vaughan said. “We can make this really special.”

   

 

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