April 10, 2002

Emotional Overload

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Not to dampen the mood but I hate when Cornell wins a big game. Allow me to explain. We here in the Sun sports department have fallen victim to a rather unique tradition that started somewhere back in last year’s men’s hockey playoffs. This tradition involves the invariable overexuberance of a certain Sun sports staffer upon the event of a significant Cornell victory.

The experience, if you are within range of this certain roving shall we say – “humpty dancer” leave one feeling little more than violated.

I imagine that last night in the press box overlooking Schoellkopf there was an occurrence of just such activity. An innocent sports editor and her unsuspecting assistant were, doubtless, forced to run for cover as the scoreboard ran out on Cornell men’s lacrosse’s biggest win in two seasons.

Shoulders grabbed sternly, hips in a bear hug, and whiplash inducing thrusts this way and that are symptoms of big wins in this day and age for us Sunnies.

Regardless, maybe hate is a strong word for my contempt of huge wins for the Cornell athletic department. Sometimes a little rough housing is a small price to pay for the significance of the moments that precipitate this painful revelry. Yesterday’s victory over No.1 Syracuse is just such a worthy moment.

The team’s performance was nothing short of heroic. From freshman Sean Greenhalgh’s six goals to junior Ryan McClay’s dominance of Syracuse’s All American Josh Coffman, to senior Justin Cynar’s stonewalling expose in goal, the players seemed to feel the importance of the moment and capitalize thereupon.

The game also marked a magical reinvigoration of all Red-blooded sports fans. We were all, admittedly, a little hung over from the wild ride that the men’s hockey team took us on this season. Falling one game short of the Frozen Four left us all wanting a little more. At the same time the campus seemed exhausted with cheering and needed a break.

However, that break seemed to leave us all wishing we had something to get excited about again. For those of us who found it heard to root against a guy like President Rawlings — I mean he is like 7’2″ — or couldn’t quite figure out the sport enough to enjoy women’s polo’s three-peat as national champs, the lull in exciting news was rather sobering.

However, fear not dear reader for last night’s victory is only the beginning of yet another wild adventure provided by one of our nationally prominent squads. It seemed fitting that yesterday’s drama, which has come to characterize one of college lacrosse’s greatest rivalries, took place in a Hollywood type setting. The rain was pouring – much to most Cornellians chagrin – during the hours of the game but the players in the Red uniforms couldn’t have been happier.

The scene was one which Cornell lacrosse has come to relish. Two years ago when Cornell beat the then No.1 Orangemen the turf of Schoellkopf was also far from dry. Driving rains again saturated the bright green surface yesterday and the Red were soon at work on another huge upset.

The scene was set, the script seemed ripe for seamless execution, and the finale was ever so sweet. Of course, for those few who found themselves caught in the grip of a predator, the memory may be coupled with the harrowing aftermath.

I can recall the face of former sports editor Shiva Nagaraj at the epic Cornell-Harvard game when he fell victim to the merriment of the rover. His look was one of strongly gripping fear and his ninety pound frame seemingly cracked in half with each brutal round of violence.

But that is an image with which I battle, not you weary friend. For you, it is a new beginning and a reason to scream Let’s Go Red as loud as you can at intermittent points in a lecture (preferably Psych 101, lots of people and there’s bound to be athletes who will be charged with the primitive response engrained in them to act out upon such a cheer. Rushing the stage they approach Professor Maas and perform a ritual not unlike that of our friend here at the Sun. Anyway..)

Go nuts because once again we here at the paper have a reason to be a violated and all of you out there have a reason to feel like you’re part of a winning team and a not-so-bad university. It was as significant a moment as we will have to be happy about between now and Slope Day. Speaking of Slope Day, watch out for “Humpty.” It could be scary.

Hail, all hail Cornell.

Archived article by Scott Jones