The dust has settled on another intermural sports season, and yet again I find myself on the outside looking in. We made it to the championship game and blew it. Lost a game that was winnable, and I myself have yet to win one. This wasn’t the first time this has happened. My team and I have had multiple chances at the elusive title, and always seem to fall short in the end.
My freshman year when I decided rush, and then pledge Sigs, I.M. sports was a major factor in that. I thought there would be no better way to win a title then join a fraternity made up of athletes. What has followed since then has been a run of 2nd place finishes that only the Buffalo Bills would understand.
That first winter on the basketball court, our team was playing the top level, the A league. We had a senior-led team with a couple of guys in my pledge class playing a clear roll. I sat pretty deep on the bench, I was there making plays and chirping loudly at our opponents and referees alike. We made it to the championship and fell short, but I knew the real season started in the spring, softball.
That first spring our team came out hot. The championship was ours for the taking. We were hitting dingers that were bouncing off Stevenson. Then the championship game happening. It was heated. Balls and strikes were disputed, and we were accused of cheating on multiple levels. We lost, and I recorded the last out. I was gutted, but I knew I’d get four more chances at the softball title and we would get one. Most likely my junior year, depending on how the next couple of pledge classes looked.
As a Sophomore, and Athletic Director for the fraternity, I tried to implement my power in any way possible. Rush event: let’s play dodgeball, I want to see who is athletic. We didn’t make it to the championship that year but progress was made on some levels. I had a terrible season personally, but I knew we’d be better the next year.
First I had to go to Chicago though, and there I took up flag football. I was playing with a group of Sig alumni and their friends. Things went well, I made an impression with the guys and was a full on starter by the end of the year. Sadly, the narrative there was the same. Make it to the championship game and lose. I even had the caption for the Instagram post in my mind for the post game picture. I was called for a brutal holding, and that really hurt our chances. I chirped at the loud mouth Ohio State alumni we were playing against and another friend was kicked out for taunting them. It was ugly. We lost, and I had to leave Chicago empty handed.
Alas the softball season was on the horizon and a championship felt imminent. We had a senior led team, and I was in better shape than I was last year. Sure enough we made it to the championship. Set to play the defending champions from last year. These guys were good. In I.M. softball you tend to count on the opposing team making a couple errors and taking advantage of that. That didn’t happen. Everything we hit was getting swallowed up. Sure enough, I made the last out again.
At this point I feel worst for our seniors. Four years of no championships. I wanted to bring them that title. That free T-Shirt with the intermural championship label. I get one more shot. They don’t, and for that my heart breaks for them. As a retired athlete you only get so many shots at glory. I wouldn’t blame any of these guys if they turn their backs on sports at this point. The hurting is that real. Til then, I’ll be prepping for that one more shot. Playing for all those guys that can’t lace them up anymore.