For two weeks out of the year, Americans draped themselves in the flag, chanted “USA” and cheered on their country in snowboarding, curling and everything in between. Of course, I am talking about the Winter Olympic Games, which just concluded on Sunday with a fantastic and entertaining men’s ice hockey gold medal game between the United States of America and Canada.
The love and support for this country during international athletic competitions is always overwhelming and it is enough to give someone chills. There really is no greater feeling than being in a crowded room or arena and hearing “USA” chants. During Sunday’s women’s hockey game at the TD Bank Sports Center, we received word that American Zach Parise tied the game in the waning seconds against Canada. “Party in the USA” started blasting over the speakers and those in attendance screamed “USA” when that part came up. Seriously.
I just wish we didn’t have to wait until sporting events, wars or national tragedies to show how much we really love our country. There shouldn’t be a day where we wake up when we don’t feel grateful that we live in the United States.
The United States ultimately fell to Canada in overtime in this game, but hopefully the team’s determination and effort made everyone just a little bit prouder to be an American.
The same can be said about our very own Quinnipiac Bobcats. Last Saturday was truly a great day to be a Bobcat. The men’s basketball team – with some help from Mount St. Mary’s – clinched the first seed in the Northeast Conference tournament. The men’s hockey team beat archrival Yale in front of a sold-out crowd. Even the women’s basketball team clinched a playoff spot while the women’s hockey team was in the playoffs for the first time.
When the gates opened at 6 p.m. on Saturday for the Yale game, students came running in to grab the best seats in the student section. While this was great to see, part of me got angry. All this showed me was that the potential to have great crowds has always been there. People who couldn’t be bothered to take some time out of their Friday and Saturday nights during the season decided to parachute to the arena because they were playing Yale.
Don’t get me wrong. Big crowds at sporting events are great, whether you know what an offsides is or not. It would be better, however, if a huge, loud crowd were not an anomaly.
But the team that perhaps deserves the most support, the men’s basketball team, largely plays in front of crowds with minimal student attendance. This team went 21-8 overall during the regular season, 15-3 in conference play and went undefeated in its 12 home games. This team is three short wins away from reaching the NCAA Tournament – you know, the thing everyone fills out brackets for.
The Bobcats start their run to the Big Dance tomorrow night at 7. I know I’ll be there in my yellow shirt, screaming some not-so-nice things at Monmouth and willing my Bobcats to victory. There is a very small group of vocal students who stand underneath the basket on one end of the court. I would love more people to join us. After the game, head coach Tom Moore gives us a thumbs-up, thanks us for our vocal support, and the players all come running over and jump around with us. It’s an awesome time, and I wish more people could experience it with me. Yes, if the Bobcats win the NEC tournament, two games will be during Spring Break.
If you aren’t going on vacation and don’t live too far away, there is no reason to not attend the games.
Just like always being proud to be an American, you should always be proud to be a Bobcat. This is your school and your college experience is what you make of it. Potentially storming the court next Wednesday in front of ESPN cameras is something that could last a lifetime.
Go America. Go Bobcats.