One of the staples of Orientation is the famed campus tour – anopportunity to learn the wonders of PSU’s campus and life along thePark Blocks.
Invariably, at some point during the tour – maybe when passingthe Stott Center, maybe when a burly jock in a football jerseywalks by – the topic of PSU sports comes up.
Tour guides are trained to recite all the sports we have, toemphasize that we compete in Division I and to list all therecreational opportunities on campus including everybody’sfavorite, racquetball!
For 99.9 percent of new students the sweet comfort of havingracquetball courts is more than enough to calm their sportsinterests.
But, invariably, there’s one guy or girl in the group for whomracquetball just doesn’t cut it. One weirdo who cares enough topress the question of PSU sports despite the tour guide’s weaksmile and head nod, intended to wordlessly urge the tour group onas if it has breeched the perimeter of a crime scene, all butsaying, “Dammit! Isn’t racquetball good enough for you?”
Invariably, that one person ignores the tour guide’s entreatiesand asks the one question no tour guide wants to hear, “Are wegood?”
The combined conference record of last year’s men’s and women’sbasketball, men’s football, women’s soccer, softball and volleyballteams was 24-50-1.
To put that in perspective, that means you had a better chanceof winning on a lottery scratch ticket than you did of seeing aViking victory if you randomly chose to attend a conferencegame.
None of those teams had a winning overall or conference record.That’s right – none.
The litany of atrocious records would be funny if it belonged tosomeone else, but it belongs to PSU and whether you love or loathePSU sports it’s flat out depressing.
Some schools would just up and quit, but not PSU (though men’sgolf and women’s tennis programs have disappeared over the last fewyears.)
No! Displaying courage and determination in line with theirViking forefathers, Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson, PSU sportsembark on the 2004-2005 season with a clean slate.
Emblematic of the fresh start is the new Victor the Viking logopopping up on all sorts of apparel and official sporting material.While the streamlined, lightning-propelled Victor of yore maintainsa highly-visible profile, the new helmeted and bearded Victor isbaring his angry war look all around campus, putting a face to thefrustration and the determination of this year’s teams.
Part of that frustration is the underwhelming support of PSU’steams.
Given, they haven’t been that good in the past, but an averageattendance of 981 for men’s basketball or 282 for women’sbasketball?
That’s barely four percent of PSU students who turn out tosupport men’s basketball.
Tickets for students are free so even if you don’t care aboutthe game it’s worth going on the off chance that you will be thestudent section…the entire section.
I found myself in this situation once last year at a men’sbasketball game. Other than myself, the only occupants of thedesignated student section were a bunch of senior citizens who’dbeen bussed in and dressed in red by the opposing team.
Instead of cheers and taunts, the best those old fogies could dowas the occasional cry of, “Where am I?”
At the time I laughed, but I would suggest that you, as newViking students, focus on the answer to this question rather thanthe one student’s concern with winning.
You are at a school where sports are not the center of theuniverse, but rather an option.
You are at a school that has slept through years of losing buthas the potential to roar with the force of 24,000 students shoulda major team remember how to win.
You are at PSU.
You are a Viking.