There’s something very interesting in the air at this time of year. No, it’s not that guy sitting next to you in History 1700 that refuses to shower after gym class. This, my fellow Bruins, is the distinct aroma of peak sports season at SLCC.
So, as a cosmetology, culinary arts or engineering student, what the heck does this mean for you? It means that you’ve got a great opportunity to do something besides soak your eyeballs in a re-run episode of Glee, Jersey Shore, or Dexter in your spare time.
Seriously—it might be time to start thinking about turning off that computer, setting your new iPad on the table, and putting down the Playstation 3 controller. Trust me, Mike “The Situation” whatever will be there next week, and your Facebook page isn’t going anywhere. Honestly, with all the mobile-web technology, it’s probably coming with you.
Now I know that as an SLCC student, you’re probably pretty busy with some real world stuff, too. You might have a job, kids, extracurricular activities or all of the above to attend to, and it’s tough to get out to a Bruins game. Couple these with a full course load, including midterms, finals and homework and it looks even less likely that you’ll be in attendance.
With all this in mind, is it even worth it to make the extra effort to get out and support your school’s athletics? As a full-time SLCC student, husband, father, bartender, sports reporter and play-by-play announcer, I know what it is to be busy. I also know that if you at all enjoy sports, getting to the game is more than worth it.
I can say without any doubt that every athletic program here at SLCC would love to have you at their games, matches, meets and events. In most cases, attendance is free with your student ID, and it costs less than five or six bucks to bring the whole family. Concessions are almost always available, and it doesn’t cost ten dollars to get a soda and fries at SLCC, like we’re used to seeing at a Jazz or Grizzlies game.
My wife and I have a one-year-old daughter, and she absolutely loves sitting on the hill west of the Lifetime Activities Center, eating her yogurt bites and watching an SLCC soccer game with us. As a parent, I’m always looking for great things that we can do as a family and SLCC sports are the perfect fit.
True, we don’t have a college football team here at SLCC. We’re not an NCAA Division-I school, and we don’t get a lot of TV exposure here at the community college level. Even with the SLCC men’s basketball team winning the 2009 NJCAA National Championship, a lot of students are scarcely aware of SLCC’s solid athletic tradition.
The truth is, we’re all invested in SLCC athletics. Like it or not, a good portion of our tuition dollars as students go to funding the needs of our sports teams. Some may argue that they don’t want to pay for sports that they don’t play or enjoy, but to me that’s no different than an athlete saying that the automotive program or pre-teacher programs are a waste—you’ll never hear it.
It’s been my experience that sports and competition bring out the best in people. The lessons that I learned while playing youth and high school football have forever impacted me. From raising my self-image and esteem to making me more disciplined, I owe a lot of my more positive characteristics to my days playing sports.
The lessons learned in athletics can positively influence us all. By integrating teamwork, character and perseverance that we learn from honest competition into our lives, we become part of something bigger than ourselves, and are better for it.
As with anything else, money talks, and there are teams at SLCC that all but depend solely upon the support of students and fans. Many teams are not part of SLCC’s athletic department and therefore they don’t get much, if any direct funding.
Coach Amanda Evans of women’s soccer does all she can to drum up the funding necessary to run a competitive program, but without the help of students and fans buying t-shirts in support of the squad, it probably wouldn’t happen.
I can’t make you go to the ballgame. I’m not very big or intimidating, and I’m way too lazy to drag you out of your biology lab and down to Cate Field for a baseball game. I can, however, suggest to you that there’s a lot to get out of supporting your school’s sports teams.
So wash that SLCC t-shirt you’ve left on the floor for three months, or at least hit it with the Tide To-Go stick, grab your student ID and get your Bruin booty involved in SLCC athletics. If the shirt is wrinkled, we won’t judge, just promise that you’ll bring your vocal chords.