LAST SATURDAY, SEPT. 10, marked the day of the Gee-Gees football team’s home opener. I don’t think I have to put down in words how excited I was. I arrived half an hour early, trekked up the 60 stairs, and edged cautiously across the catwalk to the press box. I sat down in the first row, waiting patiently for the game to start.
Now as most of you know (that is, if you’ve read the football review on p. 11) the game was less than perfect. The Garnet and Grey were victorious, but their performance was off. It was definitely nerves—there is no doubt about it. Very rarely does a team see so many Gees fans in the stands and, of course, the team didn’t want to disappoint those froshers wishing for a win.
But I think the biggest reason for their lack of energy was that the squad knew we were all judging them. This is a team returning from a 7-1 record, playing for the first time with a new quarterback and starting line. They are replacing players who have won awards and have been drafted into the CFL—and that is a hard thing to do.
So my question for all of you is this: Is it right to judge a team based on their counterparts from the previous season?
The media surrounding me in the press box thought so. Everyone mentioned at least once how Aaron Colbon had some big shoes to fill, how Brad Sinopoli was the backbone of the team and with him gone this should be an interesting season to say the least. Twitter was up in arms, with some students mentioning how this game was incomparable with last season’s home opener against the Western Mustangs.
Yes, this game was incomparable—but that is because it is a different team. This is how university varsity sports work. Players graduate and move on to better things.
It is time to let the past be the past. Forget Sinopoli and forget last year’s team. Our current Garnet and Grey are just as good, regardless of their one off game. Give them time to warm up to the field and get used to the limelight, and I’m sure they will perform admirably.
Let’s not let last season govern how we evaluate this season. Let’s give this new team the benefit of the doubt.