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Sports for the Un-Sporty: Find Your Place as a Fan

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Written by Aeryn McMurtry

RC is a sporty school. We are full of prominent and decently successful athletes, and overall, our teams do pretty well. Being a school with a student population clocking in at under 3000, we are also exposed to athletics in a more real way than students at huge state schools like Virginia Tech and UVA.

RC sports aren’t broadcasted, and only the truly dedicated watch the away game live-streams, but by the time our players get back to campus, everybody knows who won. I truly enjoy the sports culture on campus, and not just because I have athletes in my classes.

That doesn’t mean that I know anything about sports. In fact, I know so little about sports that I was on the bowling team in high school. But I’ve managed to overcome it. My friends and I (all of us NARPs: Non-Athletic Regular People) attended almost all of the home soccer and basketball games, and as soon as I can figure out how lacrosse works, we’ll roll up to those too. If you’re not sporty like me and are trying to figure out a way to get more involved with RC’s most prominent pastimes, here are a couple tips.

Number one: Develop an inappropriate crush on at least one member of each in-season sports team. You’ll be so motivated to go to the games and cheer, you’ll even sit front row and heckle the other team. And who knows, maybe the object of your affection will notice and throw you a “hi” and an awkward wave in Commons every once in a while.

Number two: Buy an overpriced piece of fan paraphernalia in the bookstore and work it into your casual wardrobe. Nothing says “interested in sports” more than the $30 baseball cap that most closely resembles the official baseball snapbacks the team wears! Dedication is key, folks.

Number three: Learn to identify people from different teams out of uniform. This one involves some observation, but soon you’ll be able to guess what team someone plays for based on where they sit in Commons. The advanced version of this tip includes being able to pick out who goes where just based on outfit alone, but that level takes more time.

Number four: Just go have fun at the games. I still don’t know anything more than the basic rules of RC sports, but attending the games and cheering in the student section with my friends made me appreciate the sport and culture that much more.