As another long summer stretches out ahead of us, the University sports scene lays dormant on the surface. In reality, thousands of people are working hard, training, planning and scheming for another year of intercollegiate athletics.
If you’re new, the first thing you’ll hear about is the basketball scandal. Though long over and done with in actuality, bureaucratic bumbling carries on in an attempt to tell us what we already know:
Clem was in on it, Newby was the contact man and everybody else looked at the Big Ten standings, sighed and closed their eyes.
So before you get your hopes up, here’s the deal. The men’s basketball team will be bad. Possibly horrendously bad. I’m talking Northwestern doughnut for the conference season bad here, folks.
The football team will have a hard time duplicating last season’s success, but things there do look promising. Women’s basketball will be horrible, as usual. The men’s hockey team will contend, but must face yet another hellacious schedule.
None of this, however, should take the wind out of your sails as a sports fan now attending the University.
The media attention surrounding the basketball scandal was certainly justified, but men’s basketball doth not a whole school’s fortunes make.
In that vein, now that you’re here, instead of paying a ridiculous amount of money for tickets to watch the hoops teams be outclassed, check out some of the teams who have proved they deserve watching.
The women’s hockey team, in only their third year of existence, is already one of the premiere programs in the country. They play hard, they’re fun to watch, and they win.
Tired of nosebleed, albeit affordable, seats in the Dome to watch the Gophers in one of their pathetic, cream-puff scheduled games to open the season? Check out a rugby match.
There are no tickets for admission, and tailgating (read: drinking) is not only encouraged, it’s damn near required. These guys play for the fun of the game, without pads, outside in the sunshine. Or rain. Or hail.
And while I’m at it, go watch a baseball game while you’re hanging around. The Twins, Saints and Gophers all offer affordable prices, and the latter pair offer something unbeatable anywhere in the sporting world: Outside baseball in the sun.
I know, I know, your dorm buddies are complaining about how baseball is boring, slow, that the players aren’t athletic and that it’s too hot out.
But would you rather sit in your room bemoaning the fact that you can’t get Timberwolves tickets, or go watch a game? Trust me, you can only play so many video games or smoke up so often or watch so much TRL before the dorms are going to get to you.
There’s plenty out there to see and do, if you’re willing to try something new. Here’s your chance to be truly unique in the land of Minnesota sports.
Follow a team you genuinely like, in a sport you find fascinating, instead of jumping on yet another Minneapolis bandwagon.
That way, when the ultimate frisbee team becomes the media darlings of the city during an incredibly slow news week, you can tell everyone how you rooted for the when they sucked.
Oh, and one more thing. Don’t believe a word Sid Hartman prints. He’s a crazy old man.
Josh Linehan covers his Britney Spears poster when his friends come over and he welcomes comments at [email protected]