Everyone loves to hate on winter term: It’s cold, long and, well, not much else. Just as bears hibernate and moneyed retirees flock to Floridian mazes of pink and teal condos during this depressing time of year, Lawrentians of all stripes have adapted to survive another Wisconsin winter. Voice majors are busy preparing for the opera in hopes of finding something to do when Project Runway reruns aren’t on. Greek organizations are busy trying to proselytize their lifestyles upon younger, otherwise potentially productive members of society. Yuais, Kohlerites and Drew Baumgartner are busy wetting their beds in anticipation of a silly event that finally gives them a sense of being half-way decent at something, even though that something is trivial and pointless. Football players begin hockey season … wait, football players and hockey players aren’t and the same? Well, they all look the same to me. The only thing that keeps me going until the permafrost lifts is intramural basketball. Once the Packers are done with the playoffs, basketball becomes my life. I think about basketball the way Donald Trump thinks about money; the way Dick Cheney thinks about torturing dudes named Omar; the way Kanye West thinks about Kanye West: constantly. Yes, there is a chance that when I am sitting in class I am actually listening to Prof. Vorenkamp drag on about whether a meaning-generality of an object is the entity of that object or if is one with that object – I’m not sure if Systems of Buddhist Philosophies fulfills a Diversity or a General Education requirement, but it should fulfill a Tediousness requirement even if there isn’t such a thing yet. But there’s a much better chance, however, that I am visualizing myself taking some chump to the hole, dunking behind my back and drawing a foul. I watch more basketball than the ORC boys watch American idol, and, trust me, those boys love themselves some Carrie Underwood wannabes. I was going to say that I study basketball plays more than some random group studies their actual homework, but I’m just grasping at straws at this point … Ok, back up, I know what you’re thinking – you’re right, I can’t actually dunk behind my back, or in any other direction. I consider myself to be pretty good at basketball but not in a conventional way. You see, my style of play can be described in one word, and that word is, as you may have guessed, verbal. I’m a trash-talker, plain and simple. Since the day I was born, before I could even form words, I’ve been talking trash. Usually, this makes me the ideal intramural basketball player – the one everyone wants on their team. But I heard a rumor about intramural basketball this year that has me a bit confused. Supposedly there is a new rule stating that teams who are “unsportsmanlike” during more than one game will be barred from playing the playoffs. I love the playoffs, but I fear that this rule will have the same effect on the playoffs that my little sister’s buying and wearing the t-shirt of my favorite band that even my cool friends had never heard of had on my listening to of said band. I would use this column to call for a showing of civil disobedience – flagrant displays of unsportsmanlike conduct by all IBA teams – but that’s like calling for rain during the middle of a monsoon. I, unlike Bristol Palin and her abstinence-until-marriage campaign, am not one for futile endeavors. I am still unsure why we even have this rule. “Sportsmanship” is for 40-year-olds with bad knees who need something to complain about, and coaches of annoying little kids who need a nice way to tell them to “shut up” when they get overexcited. But do we, humble players of LU intramural basketball, really need a one-strike policy with regards to sportsmanship? I think we have enough education and common sense to know when someone is joking, and enough education and common sense to know when to tell our friends/teammates that they are out of line. I assume people will understand when I take off my shirt and swing it over my head shouting “cash money” after I score an easy lay-up that I am joking, just as I assume Drew Baumgartner knows I am joking about him wetting his bed, or Prof. Vorenkamp being tedious or football and hockey players looking the same etc. etc. Rules are meant to be broken. Basketball is meant to be fun. I’ve grown five inches over the summer. It looks like the stars are aligned for me to have an incredible senior season.