The first hints of springtime after a long cold winter are always the most glorious of days. Like this past Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday nonetheless, with the sun poking out from the clouds and the temperature pushing seventy degrees.
It was a great game, too. Came down to the wire. A real nail-biter. A true barnburner. Or maybe it was a genuine humdinger. Last one, I swear.
In the spirit of the annual Jefferson Hotel festivities coming up this weekend I was originally going to title this column "Gaynor's Guide to Crashing Ring Dance," and give you guys a few pointers for sneaking in to one of the best parties of the year. But alas, there's so many other things going on here in Richmond I just couldn't fit it in. Consequently, here's just a little taste: "Tip No. 1 -- Always come prepared with the essentials. Make sure you bring a suit and tie, some nice shoes and a believable backstory. Oh, and a flask. Don't forget that flask."
But back to the Super Bowl. Truth be told, I'm not really that big of a football fan. But Sunday's game brought out the fanatic in me. Sure, I didn't know any of the players' names and I mostly referred to the teams as "red team" and "the yellow-pants." And maybe it was the sickening amount of Pizza Hut stuffed crust in me that did it, but I really liked that game. And not just for the commercials, either. (On that note, did you see that they're making another Fast and the Furious movie? My wish has been granted!)
This is all funny because it comes at the same time that Richmond students are getting criticized for not following our sports enough. Like we haven't heard that before. A word to that Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist and the St. Joe's coach trying to call us out on not attending basketball games: Next time tell us something we don't know.
"Crashing Ring Dance Tip No. 8 -- There's two dance floors, one with a DJ and one with a live band. Always go for the one with the live band." Sorry, just thought I'd throw another one in there."
Yes, there's been a novel's worth of Collegian columns devoted to our poor turnout record at sporting events. But honestly, it's not really that bad. Sure we're no Pac-10 team stacking the rafters and bleeding our collegiate colors. But for a relatively small liberal arts college I'd dare say we've got more school spirit than the norm.
Part of the problem is the sheer size of the Robins Center compared to the student body. We don't even have 4,000 undergrads here and a stadium that holds (according to the Web site) a total of 9,171 seats. Of course, we're not going to fill that up every night, especially for regular season games. Even if every student here went to one game on the same night that place wouldn't be half-full.
Two more for you. "Crashing Ring Dance Tip No. 16 --Yes, there are hors d'oeuvres. And yes, they are delicious. Plan accordingly."
"Crashing Ring Dance Tip No. 17--Come to watch the girls getting walked down the huge flight of stairs in front of everybody. Stay to see the one girl who trips and tumbles down it."
And even with poor turnout rates, there is undoubtedly a change moving across campus in regards to Spider athletics. Fresh off a national championship, Tim Hightower in the Super Bowl, an on-campus football stadium in the works -- it all feels like its coming together. The fix is in, so to speak.
So before everyone starts making a big deal about school spirit again, know this: Things are already moving. More kids are at games than there used to be. Students are wearing Spider championship sweaters with pride. We've got a long way to go, sure, but collectively, as a school, we're definitely getting there.
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Now if only we can all drop that stupid "We are U-R!" cheer, even I might come out and watch a game.
"Crashing Ring Dance Tip No. 21--Drunk parents are hilarious. Hold random conversations with as many as possible. And don't forget to offer them a nip of your flask." Last one, I swear.
Contact assistant opinion editor Michael Gaynor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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