Sunday, January 18, 2009

Colonial Spirit ???????

I grew up in Los Angeles where nobody cares that the Rams left in 1994 and people are happy that the Raiders closely followed suit and left our city in 1995. In my hometown, football means Trojans vs. Bruins and everyone is invested in the college game. I grew up with a Bruins mother and a Trojans father. However, my mother's father was adamant in making sure I was a UCLA Bruin and not a (dirty) Trojan. For as long as I can remember, UCLA has held a spot close to my heart. I remember watching the UCLA v USC basketball games at Pauly Pavilion, I will never forget the UCLA v Stanford football game in 2006 where Drew Olson threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter for UCLA to remain unbeaten, and the uncontested, undoubtedly, and unprecedented best day of my life was seeing UCLA's 13-9 win over USC at the Rose Bowl to knock the Trojans out of the National Championship. 

I did not go to UCLA because I wanted to leave Los Angeles and experience something new. Flash-forward to January 2009. I am a George Washington University colonial and proud of it. But, when I talk to my friends at UCLA, USC, UNC, Syracuse, UC Berkeley, University of Kansas, and even University of Washington (whose football team went 0-12 this season), they have such pride in their respective Universities. I love GW, but my passion does not come close to theirs. I have concluded, and I would love someone to challenge me on this, that this is a result of the lack of school spirit revolving around our athletic program. GW Mens Basketball, which is arguably the school's most popular team, fails to fill the Smith Center for its home games and, on average, does not even hit half of its full capacity. "Gameday" is advertised around campus with flyers and banners but I have become accustomed to walk by them. Back in December of 2008, I wanted to go to a Womens Basketball game versus the Tennessee Lady Vols. I did not make it to the game for several reasons, but the most pressing reason was that I could not convince any of my close friends to attend the game with me. BUT I only wanted to go to the game to see Pat Summitt, future Hall-of-Fame coach. I had no desire to watch the GW team. 

On students are asked to disclose some stereotypes about GW. One student wrote ... 
GW: extremely pre-professional, career-oriented. Faculty/services: unhelpful, extremely bureaucratic. GW Students: very wealthy, little school spirit/enthusiasm.
 and when asked if those stereotypes are correct, the student replies ... 
For the most part, yes.
I do not have a solution in mind at this point, but I am going to try to go to every basketball home game until the end of the season, and if I figure anything out, I will let you know. 


James said...

When your team hasn't one a game since before Christmas, it's hard to have much spirit for them. FIRE HOBBS.

Connor Walsh said...