from the sidelines

Thomas White was the sports editor of the Fulcrum in 1955, and he wanted to share his story about the origins of a tradition that will surely make a comeback in the 2013 football season after the resurrection of Carleton University’s football program. A week after the phone call, I received a handwritten letter from Thomas in the mail (complete with an Anthony Calvillo postage stamp), sharing the following memory, written in the third person:

The U of O Jockey Club is only one example of a spirit group that is seemingly shrinking, though. Many schools—including some National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) teams that can draw tens of thousands of fans to games—have seen a decline in student participation over recent years.

Sports teams do not have the monopoly on initiation events: sororities and fraternities have rush week and even universities participate to a certain extent—101 week, although well regulated, could be considered a ritualistic way of bonding between newcomers and older students.

If “Sam” wasn’t short for “Samantha” and she was a boy like the rest of her teammates, would the story be as huge? The stats are still impressive, but it is her gender that is really the kicker to the headline.

You’ve probably been watching your kid play soccer their whole life and have a good grasp of the rules, so why are you contesting a foul when I just saw your player steamroll one of ours?

There are plenty of ways to get your puck fix this winter; just follow the flow chart below to figure out which is best for you.