Editor’s Column – Have You Got It?

Jill Ferris

Do you love sports? Do you wear maroon and white with pride? If you’re a Colgate student, there is a good chance that athletics are important to you. Our University boasts 25 Division I athletic teams, in which the Athletics Office estimates 20 percent of the student body participates. An additional 16 percent of students play a club sport, and a whooping 70 percent of students participate in the numerous intramural sports leagues. Last October, Colgate was ranked the second fittest college or university in America by Men’s Fitness magazine. We also have one of the best Outdoor Education programs in the country.

Though we proudly profess to be the “Raider Nation” and the “Maroon Platoon,” for years the Commentary pages of The Maroon-News have bemoaned the lack of attendance at sporting events. In fact, a few years ago we had the worst attendance record for men’s basketball games of all schools with an NCAA Division I team. Something is wrong with this picture.

There could be any number of reasons for this disparity, but quite simply, Colgate has been referred to as a “giant killer” – a small school capable of competing against, and beating, larger schools. We are able to recruit the athletes to form successful, championship-quality teams, but with such a small student body, we just can’t fill the stands at every game. Additionally, as yesterday’s Student Activities Fair indicated, Colgate students are extremely involved and active individuals; is it too much to ask Colgate students to balance full plate of extracurriculars, a challenging academic life and be a regular member of the Raider Nation?

So here’s my challenge to all of you: be an Ultimate Colgate Fan. The concept is simple – attend at least ONE game of each of the Division I teams. Don’t have a few hours to spare? At least put in an appearance. Cheer the team through a crucial play. Be there, even if just for a little bit.

Technically, the Ulitimate Colgate Fan Challenge requires you to attend an event for each of the varsity teams. The Harry Lang Invitational was last weekend, though, so unless you hiked up the ski hill on Saturday morning to watch men’s and women’s only at-home cross-country meet, you’ll only be able to cheer for 23 of the teams. (I’ll give cross-country to you as a freebie. Bonus points if you made it to watch Lyle Tolli and Stacey Marion grab gold for men’s and women’s XC!)

This challenge is actually easier than it might seem, though. Men’s and women’s swimming and diving compete together, so by hitting up just one meet at Lineberry Natatorium, you can cross four varsity sports off of your list. Additionally, catch the men’s and women’s track and field teams together when they both compete at the Class of ’32 Invitational track meet on January 26. That means in order to be an Ultimate Colgate Fan you would just need to attend a mere 19 sporting events. Possible, even with a typical Colgate student’s schedule? Absolutely!

So what is the reward for becoming an Ultimate Colgate Fan, other than the requisite bragging rights? The Colgate Maroon-News, in support of this challenge, will publish the names of all Ultimate Colgate Fans in our final issue of the paper, as well as providing free pizza to those who successfully complete the challenge. I’m not going to require documentation of attendance at each sport, but in order to join the challenge you will need to email me (jlferris).

Gear up this weekend for the first official event: the men’s golf Colgate Invitational at Seven Oaks Golf Course. This is the only men’s golf event at home (other one-time sports include crew and track and field). Come say “Hi” to me, I’ll be there! Be the Ultimate Colgate Fan. Are you up for it?