Basketball game becomes tragic challenge

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December 8, 2006

1:37 AM

While sitting down and pondering the topic for my final column of the year, I was struck by a strong desire to be bold. To be honest, I had a difficult time. What could I do that hadn’t been done before, that wouldn’t offend and wouldn’t result in my relocation to a cozily barred concrete room? I knew, however, that somewhere out beyond the horizon was an idea yet unthought, and that only by thinking outside of my limitations could I find that spectacularly daring scheme. And then it hit me. What could I do that hardly any students had done before? Easy — I’d venture to a basketball game.

p. I know what you (if you’re anything like the average student) are saying right now: “We, like, have a basketball team?” Yes, my tragically misinformed friend, we do. Getting there would not be easy, however, due to the administration’s conspiratorial plan to keep students from supporting our team. You read that correctly; the College doesn’t actually want students to go to the games. I found it hard to believe at first as well, but after facing a nearly impenetrable wall of security last Friday night, I quickly began to catch on to the plan.

p. My first clue was the parking situation. My friends and I rolled up — just a couple of ganstas, blasting Coolio and looking hard — to find sign after sign with the same text scrawled across it — “NO STUDENT PARKING.” Well that was all fine and good; I’ve come to embrace the fact that the powers that be can render our paid-for parking permits useless with little more than the tip of a hat. The only thing was that the rest of the sign read “FOR BASKETBALL GAME.” Apparently students, even those going to the game, had no right to park in those spots. At this point I had two beliefs — either there was, in fact, a conspiracy, or the administration had wised up to the student body’s traditionally poor attendance at basketball games and had decided to focus instead on paying customers.

p. Finally, we found a parking spot, one with a marker saving it for parents (shh, they are probably reading this at this very moment), and made our way into the building. Or at least we tried to. No sooner had we opened the doors than a portly woman with an air of authority bellowed a tirade at us which, to my alcohol-fueled thinking, sounded like the gears of social justice grinding to a shocking halt.

p. “Excuse me, but you can’t come in here.”

p. “Well listen, lady,” I replied. “We live in a little place called America, which, in case you didn’t know, means freedom. You know what? I don’t even care about the terrible, bone-curdling ways that you’re going to torture me or my friends — it is my God-given right as a student of this school, and I’M GOING TO THAT GAME!”

p. She, probably sensing the desperation and general instability of my demeanor, replied quite tactfully, “Sir, the students’ section is around the corner, you just need to walk around to go in.”

p. “That’s right, I’m going in,” I said, turning to my friends. “We sure showed her, didn’t we, guys?”

p. Finally, we were there. Eager to get in, but not before putting myself in the running for an authentic (featherless) Tribe jersey, I ran quickly to the card swiping station. To my great chagrin, the powers that be had beaten me there.

p. “Sorry, the machine’s broken right now,” said the cheerful woman behind the table, smiling the whole time. I could smell the corruption wafting off of this woman. I felt that, if only I cornered her Jack Bauer style and asked the right questions in the right tone, then eventually she’d break down wailing, “It’s true! The whole thing, it’s all true. To be honest we didn’t think that anyone would make it this far.”

p. Luckily, this time, my friends pulled me away, and we got into the game. And guess what? It was great. Although the arena had less than half of its seats filled, the crowd really got into the game, helping the Tribe to a 59-56 win over Jacksonville State University. Which leads me to the moral of my little song and dance: go to the basketball games (and field hockey, baseball, soccer, etc.). People complain about how our school isn’t like others, what with the smaller sports teams and less school spirit. Well, there’s something we can do about that — throw all of our savings into school apparel, body paint and mood enhancers, get out to the games and scream our heads off like we’re freaking nuts. A person shouldn’t complain about things that he or she can change. Especially not when there’s a bigger fish to fry. I’m talking, of course, about the cons — Hey, how’d you get in here? . . . Is that you, Mr. Sadler? … what are you doing . . . put me down . . . put me . . . YOU CAN’T SILENCE THE TRUTH, YOU CAN’T SILENCE —

p. Brad Clark was a sports columnist for The Flat Hat.

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