Thursday, September 24, 2009

On Collegiate Athletes

The college I went to did not have a football team.

No, we were not a tiny school; yes, we were academically and athletically focused; No, I don't really know why we never just made one.

When I visited as a prefrosh there were still a few t-shirts floating around that proudly declared "[OUR] UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL: UNDEFEATED SINCE 1956." Totally a true statement.

Anyway, for whatever reason, we were without a football team and grew almost proud of this, instead channeling our passions into every other chance to excel at a team sport.

We formed a gang of soccer hooligans because we were bored one week. The paper printed chants made strictly for discouraging the team we were playing two days later and damned if we didn't chant those like we'd known them forever, then get arrested for petite vandalism.

We had an ultimate frisbee team whose captain wore Under Armor and bike shorts under his regular clothes every day, just in case he had to bust out of a telephone booth like Clark Kent and flick a disc from ankle height for the entire length of the field. And he found any excuse to do so.

We had a nationally awarded Ultimate Accounting team.

But of course, we saved our real passions for our basketball team, holding it in reserve when we were not that good and then releasing it in a violent explosion of carnal viciousness last year when we dominated the courts and made it to "The Show." To this day I am not entirely sure what the show is, mind you. I just kind of assumed it was an early stage of something that required betting and brackets.

And this is what brings me to my main point. What the hell were we thinking? Our basketball team was filled with students who ostensibly were rather intelligent, did not get much in the way of scholarships, and were coached by someone who was keenly aware of what he was doing.

That said, my alma mater's basketball team continues to find the most interesting ways of shaming itself.

Several years ago a foreign student got hammered and pounded a small mensch into the pavement, nearly killing him, which resulted in the offending player being arrested, hiding at his embassy, obtaining a questionably legitimate passport and escaping back to his native land. An ambassador was replaced and Hillary Clinton had to demand extradition. Currently, there are no plans for such and said country is even training the player to somehow play on its Olympic team whilst avoid arrest. Several other players were taken into custody and kicked off the team for their parts in the astronomic beatdown.

Last year a very large student was arrested for attempted theft and second-degree assault after he accidentally bowled over an old lady while fleeing from Walmart, where he had attempted to steal condoms. My first thoughts on this were 1) You couldn't get those for free from the RA's office? 2) Maybe he required Trojan Magnum XLs? and 3) Man, I hope he still got laid after all that. As it turns out, no, he couldn't go to the RA's office because yes, he was stealing Magnums. Point 3 remains unanswered.

Aaaand this week it seems the local police have officially charged another basketball player with multiple felonies, including possession and sale of 3.5 grams of cocaine, after a 3 month investigation.

Well played, boys. Well played.

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