We should all be Cougars
You don’t have to like sports to enjoy cheering on the team
Todd Colin Vaughan
All athletes have their sports memories. You know, that moment where we truly achieved something amazing — in our own eyes anyway.
Remembering our own sport histories isn’t always about personal achievement though. We also remember times when we were the patron to something truly special happening.
When we watch these moments, at home or live, we remember everything there is to know about that point in time.
It’s almost like snapshots in our mind that include not only sights, but sounds, smells and even the emotions felt when we watched the human body go beyond our own perceived limits.
Americans who attend post-secondary instituitions, though, have a very distinct experience that Canadian students are sorely lacking — particularly here at Mount Royal University.
In the US of A, when you attend an educational institution, you also become part of that school’s athletic culture. This means that when you go to schools like the University of North Carolina or Michigan State University, you don’t say “I’m a business major,” you instead proudly say “I’m a Tar Heel” or “I’m a Spartan.”
For those of you who suffer from acute athletikophobia (The fear of sports. Yeah, I Googled it), this does not mean you whole-heartedly love sports. Rather, you live the same social experience through sport that you would through drinking at The Hub.
Americans remember the friends they were with when Christian Laettner sunk his famous buzzer beater in 1992, to lead Duke over Kentucky in the NCAA’s East regional final. Whether they were business, women’s studies or drama majors, they were all Blue Devils at that point in time.
They have their sport memory regardless of being an athlete or even an avid fan.
They carry that memory not because they love basketball or that sport dominated their lives but because they were with their friends supporting a team that their university allowed them to feel a part of.
In that sense, we at MRU should all be Cougars.
Does my theory sound lovey-dovey or loosey-goosey? Maybe a little, but what could it hurt you to go to a basketball, volleyball or hockey game, have a few beers and cheer a little when they win.
Why are we so set in our ways that we attach ourselves to one label? I’m into theatre so I can’t be into sports. I’m into cats so I can’t go to a basketball game. I’m a vegan so I can’t drink beers and ask questions to my sporty friend about sports.
The best people throughout history have always been well-rounded folk who never said no to any experience — renaissance people. Why can’t we apply that to getting out and supporting our Cougars teams? Why can’t a geology major say that he was a Cougar 20 years from now?
We could easily all easily say, “That’s stupid and I don’t like sports.” If we do that though, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to have our own sport memories; we are denying ourselves a better understanding of humanity and we also denying ourselves the opportunity to be part of a greater post-secondary culture then just the cliques created by differing faculties.
In short, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to all be Cougars together.