I recently thought back to when I first toured Wesleyan. My tour guide, a gentleman that my mother would later refer to as “the hippie,” was a nice fellow who had a lot of great things to say about Wes. One thing that stuck with me, however, was his thoughts on Wesleyan athletics. To paraphrase, he had claimed that Wesleyan’s students, in a place overflowing with school spirit, frequently spent time watching the athletic events on campus.
While I won’t deny his bit about school spirit, I have come to question what the hell he was trying to pull with the whole ‘we like sports’ thing. True – Wes can claim that the athletic events that take place at our campus’s center have an “audience.” False – Wes can claim that this audience is even mildly aware of what sport is unfolding before them, due to A.) utter intoxication or B.) philosophical distraction. Just because Foss Hill conveniently situates its occupants facing the football/baseball field doesn’t mean that its occupants have the slightest comprehension of what’s happening.
Perhaps it is just a fact of life. Being tagged “Diversity University” must have it’s implications, right? How can a school, made up of so many distinctly – dare I say it – eclectic parts cohere for the sake of rallying behind the likes of team spirit? How can a school comprised of a million different passions and interests get behind something so simple as “athletics?” One could argue it’s just how it is in the ‘cac, or even that we are comparing ourselves too harshly to our state school counterparts. Either way, there is no denying the lack of energy at any standard Wes sporting event.
But Wesleying Blogger, What about Saturday night? Excellent question, friend. This is exactly where I was going next. Ah, Saturday night – what an interesting turn of events. For those of you who don’t know, Wesleyan recently hosted the first ever night game in ‘cac history. As it turns out, Williams had been scheduled to take the bragging rights, until an unnamed Wes alum came in and decided he/she was going to beat them to it, promptly supplying the school with the expensive looking lighting system you may or may not remember. Long story short, Williams lost like usual and Wes pulled through. Booyah
Yes, Saturday night seemed different. I can’t speak for everyone, but our school seemed for once beautifully coherent. For once, all of our incompatible parts forgot how truly incompatible they were and, to put simply, meshed. Fact – we had at least a hundred tailgaters. Fact -we packed the entire stadium. Fact – our team played one of the best games they have played in quite some time (45 points in the first half alone is believed to be a Wesleyan record for the first half of any previous football game in the college’s 133-year history of varsity football). Fact – the team arrived at the stadium led by none other than Wes’ West African drumming class. Fact – We beat Tufts 52-9.
Wes is a beautiful place displaying a beautiful array of people, ethnicities, passions, and backgrounds. For such a huge portion of the school to rally behind one single event is, in my mind, a small miracle. Saturday night proved that we, as a university are capable of significant amounts of spirit if we only have the means of accessing said spirit. As someone who can honestly say that they love Wes and everybody who chills here, I hope to see this level of energy and spirit once again. Even if it means someone has to shell out mad money for lighting.