Seriousness of Intramurals is positive for campus atmosphere
If you've been to the Morris Recreation Center much this semester than you probably know that intramural basketball is serious business, and I think it's a great thing.
The other night I was working out. I leaned in to see who was playing, and I was amazed at how many people were there just to watch. People filled the benches and were watching from the upstairs track, and some people even brought their kids to watch. To me, this was a great chance to see a lot of students involved in something positive, and creating some school spirit.
Needless to say, I'm not playing on a team this year – I didn't think it would be fair to the other teams to face someone of my caliber – but I do have to ask myself, "Why is this such a big deal?" I know that for the Greeks there's a lot of competitive spirit there just because they want the bragging rights to say that they beat the other Greeks. But, with the non-Greek teams, I can't help but wonder what drives them to take the game so seriously.
A friend of mine explained it to me, and he basically said that for many of them, the intramural sports are all they have outside of studies. Some of them aren't in organizations, but they love basketball so they cling to the sport (or other intramurals sport depending on the season). Since so many of the students on teams know each other, it's no surprise that there's some good-spirited trash talk off the court, which adds an element of competition to the game. Once their friends catch wind of the off-court talk, it's only a matter of time before the crowds begin to form, and that's when things get interesting.
In the few games that I've watched, I've seen players go through the highs and lows of the sport. I've seen players make that near-impossible shot, and block the jump shot from that guy that was talking a lot of noise before the game, and even a couple of guys getting dunked on. Seriously, some of these guys play like they're trying to make it into the NBA or on the next And 1 mixtape. But with all the competition and moments of embarrassment it's really refreshing to see everybody keeping the spirit of the game positive.
Personally, I think this is great for everyone involved, because it really gives students an opportunity to interact with one another and, in some cases, with people that they normally wouldn't talk to. From what I've seen, it looks like intramural basketball has been great for everyone…unless you're getting dunked on.
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