Do you ever wish that it was your school playing on ESPN? Do you ever turn on the TV and see a massive crowd of united students, covered from head to toe in their school’s gear and wish that you could be a part of that? If this is you, then you need to be one of the founding members of ‘Eater Nation.
‘Eater Nation is an eclectic group of students united to rejuvenate the UC Irvine campus by raising awareness and spirit for ‘Eater Athletics and establish traditions that will be honored for decades to come.
You might be wondering, what about the Completly Insane Anteaters? While CIA did a lot for the campus in contributing to school spirit, we need more from the student body. We need more than just an organization that hands out t-shirts. We need to create what every big sports school has: pride. Pride in being part of a school with the second ranked men’s volleyball team in the nation, pride to be part of a school with the Big West Champion and 10th-ranked seeded men’s soccer team. Be proud to watch the ninth ranked ‘Eater baseball team that, just a couple years ago, was a round away from winning a National Championship in Omaha.
And that is just who we are athletically. Academically we’re among the 30 best schools in the nation. There is no excuse not to be proud to go UCI. It is time to come together and create this sense of pride for this campus, and, with the help of ‘Eater Nation, we can.
Now is not the time to sit back on our heels with this newfound Anteater pride. We need to take this momentum and establish new traditions. Irvine is among the youngest UC campuses, founded in 1965. The traditions for sports that reside in schools such as UCLA, USC and Cal have been around for over a century. Many of these schools went through the same process that UCI needs to undergo. UCLA did not start with great legacies, top basketball recruits and intense school spirit. It was built through time and effort.
Now is our time to establish these same traditions through effort, dedication and loyalty to our school. It’s our responsibility and our legacy, along with the help of incoming freshmen, to build time-honored traditions that will last long after we graduated. We have the chance to establish this school as a top recruited UC and build something that students a decade from now will be representing. So in the future, when you return as alumni, it will be with pride that you watch your alma mater’s volleyball, soccer or basketball team capture a championship.
‘Eater Nation is intent on bringing to Irvine all the pride, bragging rights, tailgates and legacies all those other division one schools incorporate. We want tailgates before every basketball game to include each club, organization and Greek chapter. Going to Happy Hour at the pub and getting rowdy before volleyball games will be the norm. These events are what bring spirit to the sport and have the effect of bringing students and fans together campus-wide.
However, ‘Eater Nation will need foot soldiers to help dorm-storm, flyer and spread the spirit campus-wide. This will be a collective effort amongst the students and the campus. This school has the potential to show its spirit — there were 5,000 of us busting down the doors of the Bren at Shocktoberfest. ‘Eater Nation is going to incorporate members from IFC to Panllhenic to ASUCI and Sports Marketing.
‘Eater Nation has very high expectations for the years to come, and now is your chance to be a part of a new, growing tradition. Interested?
Contributed by Ben Teller of the UCI Athletic Department