September 11, 2001

Scootch Over… Free Seats for All

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There wasn’t much to do early last Saturday night. It was 6:45, the U.S. Open men’s semifinals held some allure (although Sampras was spanking Safin), next week’s class readings weren’t any more appealing, and nothing was going on for at least three hours — more likely four.

Yet I had tentatively promised to stop by the men’s soccer game against Colgate. Rather than subjecting myself to complete boredom, I decided to try my luck with the game. I took my student ID and walked up to Berman Field, thereby guaranteeing that I would be casually late and sure to find at least one of The Sun’s men’s soccer beat writers.

When I reached the field it was 7:18, and there was 33:47 left in the first half. Not only could I not find any of the beat writers, I couldn’t even find a seat! After walking the length of the bleachers and half way back, I finally recognized a familiar face. As I maneuvered to where my friends were sitting, they even had to scootch over so I could get both cheeks on the bench. Eventually I had to move down a row to avoid asphyxiation.

How did this happen? Yes, Cornell has a pretty decent soccer team; yes, it was a nice day; yes, it was a convenient time. But I had gone to games in the past under similar conditions, when claustrophobics could have attended without any fear and where you only scootched over if you spilled your drink.

But never had I previously witnessed the raucous atmosphere —