Sports

New England Spirit and Emerson Pride

October 10, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Sports

We all know the story of the high school footballers and cheerleaders who dominate the sports scene — it is depicted in every John Hughes and coming of age ‘80s film, where the band geeks, the chemistry nerds, and the remainder of the non-athletes are undervalued. When considering colleges, sports did not sit at the top of my priority list. In fact, I only applied to select liberal arts schools that have little to no emphasis on sports. When it comes to athletics, Emerson College, although carrying a strong reputation in few sports departments, focuses on school spirit and enjoyment rather than competition and ranking. Living in sports-thriving New England makes the experience culturally meaningful though.

The Wizardly Sport

“We don’t fly. We don’t think we fly. We play Quidditch.” The most widely entertaining and serious sport at Emerson College is Quidditch: the wizardly game from “Harry Potter” that involves “riding” on broomsticks, braving scrapped knees, and competing in the fictional Wizardly World, (but let’s not forget the wild parties thrown by upperclassmen after competitions). Just joking, the parties aren’t that wild, but the sport is.

An Emerson Quidditch game in action!

Quidditch consists of six teams, all culminating in a championship cup known as the Griffith Cup, similar to the Quidditch World Cup in “Harry Potter.” Games take place in The Common, where students and staff cheer on The Old North Outlaws, The Faneuil Falcons, The Boylston Berserkers, and the other three teams referencing Boston street names and districts.

New England Spirit

Although most students at Emerson would rather watch the season premiere of American Horror Story or create an independent, psychological thriller with friends, sports are hardly looked down upon. In the dining halls and student lounges, New England football, Bruin’s ice hokey, and Red Sox baseball games can be found playing. Students take pride in their New England sports teams, especially since Boston is one of the capitals of sports history and culture, and loudly entertaining baseball fans.

The Boston Red Sox logo is widely seen on baseball caps and tee-shirts around the city, especially during game season.

Attending Red Sox games are perfect for date nights, Friday evenings with friends, or fun-filled experiences of passionate Bostonians shouting and rooting for their home team. Coming from San Diego, my hometown showed little enthusiasm towards sports — the Padres team being placed at #5 in the “longest losing streak in Major League Baseball history,” according to Baseball-Reference.com, devoured my spirit. Though arriving in Boston around the time of Derek Jeter’s last game at Fenway Park, my knowledge of sports increased, as did my interest in attending baseball games, wearing red and white colors, and speaking highly of my new college city/hometown.

The Truth About Sports

How do we define “sports?” A physical activity for competition and enjoyment? A form of exercise to build muscle and increase strength? These are physical descriptions of sports, but what about the mental components, the communication with peers, and the spirit of the game? The question that should be posed is, what magnitude do sports carry? From my experience at Emerson, I’ve learned two valuable things that answer that question.

First, sports don’t have to be physical. Meditation, yoga, breathing excersises, and building relationships with peers are all forms of healthy activity. My West Coast persona shines in Boston when I practice downward facing dog and “leaping lotus” in The Common with friends, or when I attend community outreach meetings, shake hands with visionary students and strangers, and let my open-mindedness unfold in classroom settings.

Meditation and yoga are beautiful “sports” that build endurance, strength, and an open-minded aura.

Second, sports can apply to anything. If listening to the beats of Disclosure or jamming to the riffs of Nirvana are your callings, by all means, pursue it. If excelling in documentary filming or reviewing concerts excite you, follow that as well. There are many “sports” or avenues of interests at Emerson and surrounding Boston. Whatever that “sport” or passion is, don’t give up on it. Everyone caters to something.

Sports generally carry a physical or competitive connotation, but when that’s eliminated, the term becomes more subjective and insular, allowing students to free their minds and explore different avenues of interests. New England’s spirit and Emerson’s pride make up the culturally and academically enriching experience for college students.

Do Sports Exist At Assumption?

October 9, 2014 in Sports

Football Field at Assumption College

Football Field at Assumption College

I want to start off this post by saying that I for one, am not the right person to discuss sports at Assumption College. I have been to 1 1/2 football games in 4 years, and know close to nothing when it comes to the status of our sports teams. Assumption is a mid sized school, so they are Division 2 and rank average amongst other schools. I would probably say that the most popular sport at Assumption would probably be football, because they have a high budget for it and they seem to put a lot of effort in recruiting people for the team. Following football, basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, cross country, track & field, softball, hockey, swimming, tennis, rowing and volleyball are all recognizable sports on campus. They also offer many different intramural sports that lots of people participate in because they are mostly played just for fun. Overall, I would say that the sports at Assumption College are represented, but they aren’t the main thing that the school revolves around.

From what I’ve seen through my four years at Assumption, athletics are improving, as well as crowd attendance at games. I think that game attendance and school spirit is something that Assumption struggles with, but they have been actively trying to improve it. I know that the athletic department hires interns to do marketing for them so they can better reach the student body. They provide incentives for students to attend games, which seems to help a lot. They also have “Code blue” games for each team to increase attendance and school spirit, and emails are sent out to remind students when those games are.

Something I find interesting about the sports here is that they live tweet games through an Assumption Sports Twitter account, which is pretty cool. I think this is a great way to get students involved in the sports, and to also recognize each time and individual players for their accomplishments. I think that the effort Assumption is putting into improving sports and school spirit will enhance the presence of athletics on campus in the future.

As far as attending games, I can say that I have slacked tremendously, but sometimes it’s hard to develop your own school spirit if your school isn’t a “sports” school. When sports aren’t always right in front of your face you find other ways to occupy your time and find other things to focus on. I’m going to try and make an effort this year to go to at least one or two games, because I’m a senior and I’ll never get that back. Games can also be fun to attend, especially if it’s a football game on a friday night and our team wins – lets just say the party scene improves A LOT.

I have heard some people complain about the sports and the athletes that go here, but I believe they’re just being bitter. People who do athletics do it for a reason, and just because Assumption isn’t a D1 football school in Florida doesn’t mean that athletics shouldn’t be recognized. I think it’s important to have athletics in college, and I hope that Assumption’s athletics and school spirit continues to prosper.

The Big Red Sports: “SIV SIV SIV!”

October 4, 2014 in Alive Campus, Colleges, Events, Sports

High School Freshman Year Christopher-James: “Sports are a waste of time. Everyone treats athletes and cheerleaders like they’re gods, but they’re simply lack-luster students who spend more time exercising and running around a field than they do passing classes.”

College Sophomore Year Christopher-James: “GO BIG RED! SIV SIV SIV! OH NO, MY RED AND WHITE FACE PAINT IS RUBBING OFF! SOMEONE HAND ME MY RAW FISH TO THROW INTO THE STADIUM!”

A year of living with a wrestler, taking classes with crew athletes, and partying with lax-bros has given me a newfound respect for the students who go the extra mile by not only attaining top marks in classes but also exerting a high level of energy in the fields—or the ice, or the water, or the mountains. I’ve transformed into the typical, rambunctious, face-painted sports fanatic who constantly annoys anyone and everyone sitting in the vicinity. And for that, I thank my first year of the two most-talked-about Big Red sporting events:

Big Red Band (Homecoming weekend)

Big Red Band (Homecoming weekend)

HOMECOMING WEEKEND:

The weekend of homecoming is a huge deal to Cornellians. Barbecues in the parking lots and a mini-carnival near the football stadium preface the big game—usually held between Cornell and a neighboring school within the sports conference. Students (myself included) spend the morning taking selfies in their Big Red sweaters, cheering onto the Big Red marching band’s lively performances, and then taking their seats in the stadium as they await the start of the match. Imagine a sea of red and white sweaters (because Ithaca’s October climate), clappers and foam fingers, and tons of drunken students munching on popcorn and nachos. Then the game begins and it’s essentially a cluster of screeches from the crowd and tons of tweets about how amazing Cornell’s football team is. After all, aren’t all of Cornell’s teams absolutely amazing? (My apologies if my inner Big Red fanatic is exposing itself in this post).

CORNELL VS. HARVARD HOCKEY GAME:

The Big Red beats The Harvard Crimsons

The Big Red beats The Harvard Crimsons

Ivy League university students have a tendency to love their schools and hate all others in the conference—especially within the context of academic reputation and sports (after all, the Ivy League is a sports conference). Each year, the Cornell men’s ice hockey team battles against the Harvard team in the ultimate clash of crimson and carnelian. During this pivotal match, Cornellians sit in the bleachers with their fish in hand; ready to throw them onto the ice the moment that Cornell takes the win. (In 1973, a Harvard fan threw a dead chicken at Cornell netminder Dave Elenbaas after Cornell won the game. In retaliation, Cornellians threw fish at Crimson players 5 weeks later. The tradition of throwing fish into the field and yelling “SIV, SIV, SIV!” has continued for over four decades).

~ ~ ~

As mentioned before, my level of respect for athletes skyrocketed the moment I stepped foot onto Cornell soil. As a proud high school nerd who participated in debate, student council, and a variety of other academic clubs, I constantly thought: “Athletes devote extra time to their sports, but I devote extra time to my clubs and I’m still a top student. Why should I give them any extra respect?”

A year at Cornell has taught me that student athletes are not jarheads. Rather, they’re brilliant minds in well-built bodies that can withstand a great amount of mental and physical stress, respectively. My advice, throw away all biases obtained from years of watching ‘90s coming-of-age films, and go to sporting events to support your school. You might just end up being an annoying sports fanatic like myself.

BSU Bears: Good losers, great winners

October 1, 2014 in Campus Life, Events, Sports

Picture this: A group of you and your friends all in full University gear with the scarves, the school logo on your thermos with spiked hot chocolate. You walk into a huge stadium where your school colors reign supreme and everyone is talking, laughing and cheering! Sounds fun, right? Well guys, I just described the polar opposite “sports scene” from Bridgewater State University.

 

Some people would describe our schools sports teams as “nobody gives a shit”, but that’s not exactly true. Just because we can’t compare, say the atmosphere with other University’s (lets say compared to BU) doesn’t mean that our teams aren’t worth watching and cheering on. Some might overlook us, but the Bridgewater Bears do know how to put up a good fight.

 

Our football team might be D3 but they definitely don’t suck. In fact, I know several guys that actually transferred from D1 colleges, so we have a lot of muscle on the team. Some of the guys (excuse my language) are fucking huge. The captain this year is dedicated beyond belief and from what I’ve been told they train hard, party hard, are good losers, and great winners. Our football team might be D3, but they have integrity (which is more than what I have to say for other colleges…).

 

As far as getting the crowd involved, I’d have to give this one to the basketball team. I went to a lot of these last year, and they are actually pretty crazy (like a lot of basketball games typically are). The players are tall as hell, and they are actually pretty decent. The fans in the stands are obnoxious; have no problems messing with the other team, and its sort of cool to see everyone from our school come together in this environment. Our basketball court could look a little nicer, but hey not everything can be perfect apparently.

 

For the female players, our volleyball players it. One of my good friends is on the team, and it sounds like the team never stops practicing. These chicks are determined and always improving their game. Most of these ladies from what I hear extremely close with one another, and it reflects on their performance. They work like a well-oiled machine (corny but they do!) When one of them gets hurt, they pick up the slack and keep on trucking’.

The games are fun to watch, and much like the basketball team, the fans get a little nuts. Oh yeah, for you guys out there, their bodies are like, crazy from training all the time… so enjoy the spandex as well as watching these girls spike a ball into some other chicks face.

 

There are so many views on all of our sports teams. I think that a lot of students might think that due to BSU being such a big commuter oriented school that our sports teams are shit, but that’s really ignorant. The games are fun, our teams work their asses off during practice while you’re eating ramen and renting Godzilla so get the hell out there and cheer them on! I don’t care who you are, or if you care about sports. You are in college! Get involved and have fun!

URI; The Least Spirited College In The Country

September 26, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Events, Sports

Sports.  America’s favorite past time.  Whether it’s baseball, football, basketball, hockey or tennis, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.  But sadly at URI, most sports teams aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.  They don’t really have much support from the student body.  The only real fan base that URI sports have is the parents and alumni.  URI is home to teams that compete in 17 intercollegiate sports.

The students here at URI really don’t take much of an interest in the university’s athletic programs.  There are certain events that do attract more attention than usual.  Parents weekend, the football team receives a lot of support from current students and their parents.  It’s only because most parents feel like it’d be a fun thing to do, but by halftime most families leave and that’s the end of the rare support.  On game days when the basketball team plays big name schools, you’ll see more people than usual in the arena.  Occasionally, the hockey team gets their fair share of attention too.

Throughout the school year, URI does host some really great events.  Each year, the school hosts a day trip to New York City as well as a day trip to Boston.  Various entertainment groups also bring entertainment to URI each semester.  This past weekend, the Platinum Entertainment Group hosted a concert, which they titled “Field Day.”  The performing acts included EDM DJ’s Cazzette and Dada Life and Hip Hop artist 2Chainz.  It was almost an entirely sold out show.  The URI Student Entertainment Committee also has two huge acts coming to campus in the next few weeks.  Country artist Hunter Hayes and rapper Iggy Azaela will be hitting the stage at The Ryan Center.  This upcoming Family Weekend November 7-9, the Student Entertainment Committee is also hosting comedian Seth Meyers.  Tickets are currently sold out.  Events include academic presentations and the annual President’s Brunch on Sunday.

Each year, the Office of Student Involvement in conjunction with HRL, Orientation, Recreation, and Intramurals provide a festive night complete with free food and activities.  Hundreds of student organizations are present to give freshman the opportunity to get connected to the URI campus.  One of the URI student favorites is also the annual Oozeball tournament.  It’s a volleyball game run by the Alumni Association and organized by students that is played entirely in the mud.  Students are encouraged to make up their own teams, and faculty and staff come to show their support.  Each year, over 200 teams come out to play.

My personal take on URI athletics: it’s quite sad.  You won’t see me at the big football game and you definitely won’t catch me supporting the golf team.  This school is extremely hypocritical when it comes to school spirit. We sing the University of Rhode Island fight song like we’ve known it all our lives, yet most people who populate this campus during the week have never even been to a single URI event.  It’s very contradictory. School spirit just isn’t reinforced here.  It has never really been a big part of student life.

However, there is one group on this campus that seems to make up for the lack of school spirit that this school actually has.  That group is called The Mob.  The mob is a group of students who choose to attend many sporting events, cheering on URI in full body URI gear.  They paint their faces, bring megaphones, but most of all, they’re there to support the good old Rhody Rams.  They don’t just attend athletic events either; they can be seen at all major events that URI holds.  They show us all here at URI that maybe school spirit isn’t dead after all.

 

The Mob at a basketball game

The Mob at a basketball game