In the realm of mainstream sports, almost all attention is placed on the big three: basketball, baseball and football. It is not shocking to find that those same archetypes are revered in college as well. The only problem is that our football team is, to put it lightly, struggling. Our men’s soccer team, however, is excellent.
In a show of school spirit, we should support all of our teams. If we can’t be proud of being a Zip, what else is there? Yet, I just don’t understand the fanfare that is carried on at our football games. Having an amazing marching band is clearly not enough to help our football team win. In a season where gaining a first down is akin to scoring a touchdown, perhaps another sport may deserve some more attention.
The best part of my experiences at InfoCision Stadium came during the W. Michigan game. An angry fan sat in the front row of the upper deck and hurled insults at our coaching staff all game. At one point, he even suggested suiting up the women’s golf team and letting them cover the W. Michigan receivers who caught nothing but fifty yard touchdown passes. This man may have been on to something. At least the women’s golf team knows what winning feels like.
The women’s golf team placed second in the 2010 MAC Championships. The men’s golf team placed third and the men’s soccer team is ranked No. 1 in the country. With the success of all these other sports, why is it that we are so fascinated with mediocre football? Is it some kind of media influence? Maybe it’s just a cultural thing. The point, though, is that I would rather support a good team over a bad one, no matter what sport it is. I proudly tell my friends that UA is a soccer school.
With the recent exposure that the FIFA World Cup has given to international soccer, the sport has become a little bit more mainstream. Many people who typically don’t enjoy the low-scoring sport are now, if not interested, aware. It shouldn’t be so embarrassing to admit you like the fast-paced, endurance grinding, ever flowing sport that captivated American audiences this past summer. It is a shame that the enthusiasm that gripped the world over the summer has dissipated on our campus along with the season.
We should break apart from the anemic normalcy of college sports. The University should provide us with a sports program that stands out among other state colleges. Nothing would be better to shake up our athletic program than something unpredictable, like moving the marching band to the soccer field. Not only would it break precedent, but it would show opposing schools that we are not afraid of being unconventional and provocative. It would also show the sports outside of the big three that they mean something to us as well. Our school appreciates all winners. If nothing else, maybe the soccer team should move to InfoCision. At least we could finally see a team win in our new, fancy stadium.