Vikes, More Vikes

Peter Griffith

(Brent Schwert)

Liberal arts students are a funny bunch. We tend to enjoy Shakespeare a little more than your average state-schooler, for instance. Our musical tastes are far more eclectic than the average American, and surely almost all of the 21 Lawrentians that list Nickelback in their facebook profile do it for the sheer thrill of irony. And, like millions of peace-loving, emo glasses-wearing, no-meat-eating, bohemian liberal arts students do every day, many of us forget that we have a football team.
But doesn’t our football team suck? Why should we care about big dudes throwing a ball around when there’s Kant to read and Mahler to listen to? Well, yes. The team has been bad in the past. Very bad. And yes, homework is important. But Saturday afternoons aren’t really the library’s peak hours, and three hours a week shouldn’t make or break that A in Psychopharmacology.
The truth, my fellow Lawrentians, is that many of us are far too cool to go watch a football game, and I respect that. In high school I was that middle-class green-haired kid who wanted to be punk and brainy at the same time, and wouldn’t have been caught dead at a football game. I know indifference to LU sports is one of the main tenets of your college belief system. Who am I to challenge that faith, the very fabric that holds us together as an academic community?
Well for one, I’m the sports editor of your student newspaper. And I’m not an athlete (gasp!) unless you count Ultimate Frisbee (which is a whole different column), but I’m a fan of Viking athletics. I’ve also been at this school for four years now, and have seen the whole gamut of athletic performance, from winless seasons to No. 1 rankings. And I’m here to tell you that it is possible to love your sports teams without caring at all about sports.
Many fine academic institutions have equally fine football traditions. Ever hear of Harvard? Or Yale? They both have football teams, believe it or not. I’ve had the privilege of seeing The Game, the annual rivalry between the two schools. The tailgate party started at 9:00 a.m. that morning, and by 10:00 a.m. there were more drunk future MENSA members than could fill the quad. Many didn’t particularly care about football, but they all had one thing in common: pride. They realized that having pride in your school and having pride in your football team are, actually, remarkably similar.
So I issue this challenge to ALL Lawrentians, jocks and dweebs alike: Come out this Saturday to the Banta Bowl and cheer on your (your!) Vikings as they play host to fellow nerds Grinnell. If you’re 21, you might want to engage in some pregame social lubrication, but it doesn’t matter. I promise, if you pretend to be excited about football, there’s a good chance you’ll accidentally (he can’t be serious!) have a good time.