March 27, 2003

Keeping Things In Proper Perspective

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I was in Albany this past Saturday, watching the nightly news after dinner when the sports anchor came on the air. The top story was, of course, the ECAC final between Cornell in Harvard that had recently ended at the Pepsi Arena.

In a span of about 45 seconds, I saw the Red’s goal, then the Crimson’s, and, what seemed to be the Bostonians icing in an insurance tally with virtually no time left on the clock.

I threw up my hands in disgust, but as I sighed “of course,” the game was tied.

Five seconds later, our East Hill champs were crowned just that.

WHAT?!!?!

We won?!?!

How unlikely for a Cornell squad to overcome such insurmountable odds. Our teams have played for many championships in the past and competed in “the most important game of the season” numerous times, yet they rarely seem to emerge victorious.

Maybe that curse has been lifted thanks to the hockey team.

But, perhaps a curse never befell the Red and it’s simply that we remember the losses much more vividly than the wins.

Perhaps we expect our teams to lose, and when they do, it only serves to reinforce our belief that they are losers.

What is lost in that unfortunate expectation is the need to reflect on exactly what game was not won.

Was it a game against (insert bad team in respective sport) in the beginning of the Ivy season? It seems safe enough to say that, in general, (said bad team) sucks more than we do, so if we lose to them, then we say louder and more vehemently that we are worse than the worst.

That makes some sense because in most sports, (bad team) fails to attract the same caliber athlete as Cornell. When we lose to them, we feel that we were not as good as we thought.

When we lose in the NCAAs or in a game that would determine the Ivy champion, we say “not again” or “oh god,” like this game is on par with that of a game against (above bad team). I am ashamed to admit that my initial reaction on Saturday night was exactly that.

I should have thought about the many teams who are sitting at home wishing they had the chance to score a last second goal to tie in the ECAC championship. I imagine they would give anything to even lose that game.

But second place is a hard pill to swallow. One becomes mired in the basket he didn’t make, the error she committed, the pass he didn’t complete, and the penalty she shouldn’t have gotten.

It’s a while until one realizes the game meant something more than just a regular season contest means.

Now that our Lynah natives are headed to Providence with several number ones next to their name and the spring sports teams have embarked on their quests for the Ivy championship, Cornellians need to gain some perspective.

We are far too apathetic as fans to call ourselves a Division I school. Lets get over the general opinion that our teams aren’t worth our time and go to some games. Lets have an honorary parade for the hockey team with tickertape, fire engines, convertibles, bands and the entire school.

Lets show the rest of the country that Cornell students support their teams to keep those talented freshmen coming in.

Lets not sigh if the hockey team loses. Not many schools are ever picked as the best in the country, ever.

Most of all, lets realize that if we don’t win every game, it doesn’t mean we suck.

Archived article by Katherine Granish

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