SPORTS

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November 15, 2002

IM Insider

Dear Readers,

Through the vivid reporting the Maroon has made famous the world over, I was prepared to bring you detailed recaps of this week's football action, including a summary of the greatest game never played. Instead, an incredible controversy engulfed the IM Office, a controversy about which I have few details save for the following document, which was left for me at the office.

The Apology of Graham House

Although some of you may think I am joking, I declare that I will tell you the entire truth. As little foundation is there for the report that I am an official, and take money; that is no more true than the other. Although, if a man is able to officiate, I honor him for being paid.

Chicagoans, this "mistake" of mine has resulted from a joyful celebration of a certain sort of wisdom which I came to possess by virtue of my recent advancement in years. If you ask me what kind of wisdom, I reply, such wisdom as is attainable by man after a generation and solitary year, for to that extent I am inclined to believe that I am wise; and here, O men of Chicago, I must beg you not to interrupt me, even if I seem to say something extravagant.

Now let us examine the particular count. I am called a doer of evil, who corrupts the youth. Come hither, Tamsen Burke, and let me ask a question of you. You think a great deal about the improvement of campus youth?

-Yes, I do.

-Tell me, then, who is their improver; for you must know, as you have taken the pains to discover their corrupter, and are citing and accusing me before them. Speak, then, and tell me who their improver is.

-The rules.

-But that, my good friend, is not my meaning. I want to know who the person is, who, in the first place, knows the rules.

-The officials, Graham House, who should be present on the field.

-What do you mean to say, Tamsen, that they are able to instruct and improve youth?

-Certainly they are.

-What, all of them, or some only and not others?

-All of them.

-By God, that is good news! There are plenty of improvers, then. And what do you say of the professors—do they improve them?

-Yes, they do.

-And their fans?

-Yes, their fans improve them.

-But perhaps the associate house members corrupt youth? Or do they too improve them?

-They improve them.

-Then every Chicagoan improves and elevates them; all with the exception of myself; and I alone am their corrupter? Is that what you affirm?

-That is what I stoutly affirm.

-I am very unfortunate if that is true. But suppose I ask you a question: Would you say that this also holds true in the case of horses? Does one man do them harm and all the world good? Is not the exact opposite of this true?

-I find the analogy ridiculous. Do you mean to equate your classmates with mere beasts? Obviously, you have nothing left to say.

-Of course they are not beasts; let me take a different tack: if my absences really corrupted the youth, they should come forward as accusers and take their revenge; and if they do not like to come themselves, some of their RHs, RAs, or other housemates, should say what evil their houses suffered at my hands.

-You are a liar, Graham House, not believed even by yourself.

-But

Graham House is found guilty

I am not accustomed to think that I deserve any punishment. Had I money I might have proposed to give you what I had, and would have been none the worse. But you see that I have none, and can only ask you to proportion the fine to the balance of my registration fee. However, I think that I could afford a ten-spot, and therefore I propose that penalty.

Graham House is banned from the playoffs

If you think that by bouncing me you can avoid the accuser censuring your life, you are mistaken; that is not a way of escape which is either possible or honorable; the easiest and noblest way is not to be crushing others, but to be improving yourself. This is the prophecy which I utter before my departure.

Let me reflect in another way. Either I will never play IM football again, existing undefeated for eternity or, as men say, I will pass into the ranks of the infamous losers from the past. What can be greater than this?

And so the powerful defense of what can only be characterized as one of the greatest single feats of sports idiocy—on par with Bill Buckner's miss, Dwayne Rudd's premature removal of his helmet, or Chris Webber's "timeout"—came to an end. Graham House, an undefeated, league-leading, and former top-ranked team, bounced themselves from League 4 after repeatedly failing to fulfill their responsibility to provide an official. Graham is now ineligible for the playoffs, a sour ending to what might have been the start of Graham's first great tradition.

Some may feel that the policies of the Campus Sports Office, currently overseen by director Tamsen Burke, are too harsh but "apology" aside, Graham really has no defense. The intramural program is a collective enterprise that depends as much on the work and responsibility of participants as it does on the CSO staff. This is made clear at the outset, whether in published materials or at mandatory meetings. Moreover, referees are told in advance what games they need to attend.

Graham's departure shakes up the playoff picture since one lucky team will get a chance at postseason redemption. With May House joining Graham in forfeiting out of the league, Mathews looks to be the lucky team. Congratulations to Mathews for their cunning strategy.

1. Atropine—Beat Celtics, 19-6

2. Pike—After watching 44-12 drubbing of DU, I think Pike will give a lot of teams trouble in the playoffs.

3. Henderson—New top dogs with Graham out. Stepped up their game and mastered MAPH, 41-6.

4. Bishop-Phi Slamma Jamma—League 2 smackdown of Vincent, 25-12.

5. Dodd-Mead—Dodge a serious upset bullet, squeaking by Shorey 13-12.

6. Pritzker Somites—Tied GSB-Black 14-14.

7. Vincent—Costly loss to Bishop.

8. Flint—Need to show they can take down Dodd-Mead.

9. Fightin' Kiwis

10. Phi Delta Theta—Secured a 12-7 victory over Monkey Mafia, courtesy of one of the best pass rushes I've seen.

Upset of the week:

Woodward, who was trying to make a strong push for a playoff berth, fell 31-19 to a rejuvenated Broadview squad. Broadview's offense had been sputtering, but a timely quarterback change elevated Trey O'Connor to starter and paid obvious dividends.

Volleyball playoffs start Monday. Look for details in the next Insider.