Monday, April 9, 2012

NYU Has Sports?

Once, while wasting time between classes in the massive, echoey lobby of NYU’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, I overheard a tour guide telling a group of prospective students that “people don’t think we have sports, but we’re actually pretty good at them.” He proceeded to rattle off statistics about a bunch of championships that we had won, which were probably made up. I love NYU, but if there’s one thing we’re not known for, it is our athletic prowess (except in fencing—word on the street is that we are AWESOME at fencing). I love my program, I love the “campus,” and I love our weird school history — like our mascot. We were the Violets forever, but then someone had the bright idea to get a more ferocious mascot, so we picked the Bobcats, which not-so-ferociously comes from our library database, BobCat (a portmanteau of Bobst Catalog). Yet our sports teams are still the Violets. I don’t get it either. I don’t think anyone at NYU gets it. (Oh, and we were the Violets originally because Washington Square Park, the centerpiece of our “campus,” used to be filled with violets. Because of the great 1831 NYC Parks and Recreation Department’s great gardening skills? No. Because underneath WSP lies a ton of dead bodies because it used to be a potter’s field, and violets thrive in cemetaries. Yup.)

...anyway. Point is, I love my school but we’re a little bit lacking in the athletics department. (Although our bookstore does sell ironic “NYU Football” t-shirts, even though we haven’t had a football team since 1952. So appropriate.)

Every NYU student is constantly plagued by e-mails, usually from listservs they didn’t realize they were on (is this a phenomenon at other schools too?). Every so often, we’ll get an invitation to something called “Tear It Up.” Sometimes you’ll even encounter people on campus trying to shove a fluorescent flyer in your hand, also advertising this “Tear It Up.” I was vaguely aware that it was sports-related, but I didn’t really pay much attention because…it’s NYU. But, after almost three years of being away from Holliday, I kind of miss the school spirit that I was indoctrinated with for 13 years. I missed the sense of unity that comes from victory (and I don’t want to brag, but…you get that feeling a lot at Holliday). I never thought I would say it, but I missed watching my school play sports.

So, I decided to investigate “Tear It Up.” Turns out, it’s just a normal sporting event, but they give out free food and free t-shirts. I thought I would have to attend Tear It Up alone, because most of my friends are pretty dubious about NYU athletics (I can't say I blame them). Attending a men's volleyball game alone would have likely been the single most pathetic thing I've ever done in my life, but luckily, I somehow wrangled one of my friends, Kiara, into going with me!

Kiara, looking adorable while enjoying the free food.
I can earnestly say that I was shocked at the number of purple-clad NYU students that were at this men’s volleyball game against Stevens Institute of Technology. And we even ended up winning! …Or so I hear. Kiara and I left before the final set because, let’s be real here, it was getting late and I don’t have that much school spirit.

The team that led us to victory

Here's a way more impressive and valiant photo that I found here (where you can even read all the exciting details of the game!)

I feel satisfied that I can say I’ve had an experience most NYU students haven’t—I have witnessed the existence of NYU athletics. And the shirts are pretty legit!

Go Violets!!

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