The Fall of Streaking

At the University of South Alabama this month, a college freshman, Gilbert Thomas Collar, was shot dead after threatening and attacking a campus cop—naked.   The cop reported that he “was confronted by a muscular, nude man who was acting erectly erratically,” before pulling the trigger. Cop shootings and the politics that come with them aside, this story got me thinking. Streaking is appalling. I don’t mean the shameless, whimsical, “call me” streaking that we’ve grown so fond of through college and Sports Center Not Top 10s, but the angry, looking-for-validation streaking that is plaguing society, sports and higher education institutions alike.

What once was a beloved display of confidence, enthusiasm, and drunkenness is now being held hostage by pretenders like Collar and other frat stars with chips on their shoulders. Streaking is not about confrontation. All the great streakers—Michael O’Brien, George William Crump, and Erica Roe’s 40 inch chest—had nothing to prove. Only share. Their bare assed sacrifice brought people together and for that they earned respect from students to rugby hooligans to cops. Even Robert E. Lee approved of the streaking legacy left by Crump.

We can all agree that Collar shouldn’t have been banging at the window of a police station naked.  He should have been running around the girls’ dorms with a number sharpied on his ass. Instead, he’s left yet another taint on the legacy of streaking.   

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