After a thrilling, come-from-behind victory over league-champion Wash U Saturday, the U of C women’s soccer team is heading back to the NCAA DIII tournament after a one-year hiatus.
It’s a remarkable accomplishment and I’ll certainly be hitting the road this week (most likely to either to St. Louis or Wheaton) to catch their first-round matchup. The Maroon Sports Report has comprehensive coverage, as always, and will be broadcasting live from the first-round site.
I covered the Maroons for two years—including a four-quarter stint as sports editor—and while I had never really had my mind set on becoming a sports writer, you spend so much time watching games, meeting with coaches, interviewing players, scouring through message boards and forums and meandering through the backwaters of crummy athletics websites that look like those old personal Geocities pages that you just can’t help but invest yourself emotionally in the fate of the teams you’re covering. I guess that’s not exactly journalism 101—staying out of the story and such—but it’s inescapable.
That enthusiasm probably won’t be shared by much of the campus. Most times that I mention an upcoming sporting event to someone I know, it’s met with a scoff and a put-down of the level of competition. Maybe it’s because U of C students spend so much time gushing about Nobel laureates and academic excellence, or perhaps U of C students are just too critical for their own good—or some combination of the two. But for whatever reason, school spirit at the U of C seems confined to actual athletes, and the sports staff of the Maroon.
If you are a U of C student, you don’t owe it yourself to go to these games by any means. But if you hear someone gushing about a sports team on campus, please try to withhold the snarky comment—it’s probably been said before anyways.
UPDATE: I take back everything I just said–we’re hosting! Anything short of a massive turnout for the game with Aurora (home of Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar) will be unacceptable. No excuses.