The secret world of the dumb-ass sports star

By Rafael Ford

University of Calgary intramural sports are truly a wondrous spectacle.

Existing within the Faculty of Kinesiology and in the shadows of varsity athletics, intramurals allow the thrifty and time-conscious student to compete at little cost against others in the sport they love.

As someone who has participated and refereed in both ice hockey and ball hockey for a number of years, I have witnessed the existence of a strange beast lurking in the darkness of this recreational program. You all know who you are and you all know what I’m talking about. Yes, the beast in this dreamy landscape is the intramural superstar.

I’m sure they’re just as present and unwanted in most intramural sports as they are in hockey. They have many names and many shapes but can be identified by one distinct characteristic. They play with the intensity of a future professional player for all seven games of the semester. I’ve seen it face to face. Maybe 20 years old, trying to kill anything that moves, all the while trying to impress the five people in the stands by going end-to-end without one pass. Truly spectacular–especially in the beginners division. Beware if you are the referee. Calling a penalty will not be tolerated.

It is quite clear you once had some potential and yes, we all think you are an excellent athlete. But why must you haunt us? Aren’t there other places where your need to exhibit your skill could be fulfilled? Why do you play among people who only come out to have a good time? Do you realize if you win the intramural championship you won’t actually be going to Disneyland or the White House?

My point is simple. To all you athletes who dreamed of glory but were never able to find it, intramural sports is definitely not your place. There is no reason to play this way in these leagues because it means nothing. The best you can hope for are bragging rights and a cold beer at games end. For $30 a semester, this should be quite reasonable.

Sure, winning is great and if you do make the playoffs, that’s an extra few games that season. But do you want it so bad you would fight just for the sake of fighting or make fool out of the clearly unskilled?

Please, no more excuses of intensity of competition or the rush of adrenaline. Please don’t make it hard for any more of us to have a good time without the fear of injury. We are not as good as you and we don’t care. We are here to have fun. Why are you here?

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