When I came to UC Irvine in the fall of 2006, I was not expecting much school spirit for athletic programs. I was not attending a school like UCLA or USC where it is customary to paint your face and tailgate before football games.
However, I acquired a certain love for UCI athletics during my freshman year when I would walk to the men’s basketball games at the Bren Events Center from my dorm in Mesa Court. I usually attended the games just to relax and talk to some friends. Every game would go down to the final minute, so there was always a reason to stay and watch.
The first match I remember that really made me feel great about being a UCI fan was a volleyball game during winter quarter of 2007.
When UCI won in five sets, the Bren Events Center was packed with students who were actually enthusiastic about the contest. That year, the men’s volleyball team won its first national title. The place was full of energy and noise. I wish every UCI student could have experienced what I had.
After that, I went to soccer and water polo matches — things I probably would have never considered attending.
As a writer covering the games, I get to enjoy a new perspective in sports. I try to capture the whole picture and not just what the players do; the fans can be just as important as anything else. They can shape the outcome of the game just as well as any player. My previous articles noted how awesome it was to be at the first ever UCI baseball regional last summer. It was something truly special. It reminded me of the Big West Basketball Tournament of 2008, when UCI made it to the final round. Again, the game took a backseat to the actions and loudness of the crowd.
There are a lot of students at UCI who don’t give athletics much of a chance. That is a huge mistake, in my opinion. Take pride in your school’s athletics. Go to a game and have a good time. Don’t take things for granted. Go witness a national championship first hand.
To me, UCI students are missing out on a very important part of their college careers. Representing your school colors and talking trash to other schools at sporting events is as common in college as overpaying for course books. I plead for more involvement in sporting events. My last selling point for UCI athletics is that they are free to enjoy. You can be entertained for no money down. How much better can it possibly get? Plus, there is always free stuff being handed out.
I hope you, the reader, will heed some of my advice. I really encourage you guys to take advantage of what is arou nd you. Go out and tailgate, be proud, loud and even obnoxious to other schools’ fans. You have that type of privilege when you back your universities’ athletic programs. Go out and have a good time before it is too late. Go Anteaters!
Filed Under: Sports