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Intramurals create strong sense of community

Published: November 15, 2013
Section: Opinions


Let’s face it: Brandeis is not known for its athletic ability. We are certainly known for our brains, but sports tend to fall by the wayside. This past week’s events certainly proved that wrong, though, as I discovered.

It was down to the last playoff game in Intramural Football, and two of the teams were the men and women’s BOO (Brandeis Orthodox Organization) teams. Abeshter’s Army (men’s BOO team) was slightly behind and pulled out a 26-25 win at the last minute with some expert passes against Patchworkers, the Brandeis athletic staff.

The women’s team (my team), “Remember the Karpoff,” had a rough season losing to the softball team, “Back That Pass Up,” 61-0 the first game and 12-2 the second game with only a safety. After defeating “Tom Brady Bunch” with an expertly-caught pass in overtime, “Remember the Karpoff” had to once again face their bitter rivals, but this time they came prepared. With star player Roni Rosen ’14, brilliant quarterback and captain Sarah Sue Landau ’14 , interception expert Rachel Gordon, master-plan coordinator Shani Weiner, coach Talia Holtzman, and all other players who pulled in their part, the team discovered how to work together and pull out a stunning win of 13-0. Though “Back That Pass Up” almost scored a touchdown in the middle of the game with a long run, the Karpoffs stopped them just in the nick of time. From a whopping 61-0 to 0-13, this team was truly the story of the underdog.

Though this was my first time ever participating in intramural sports, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve always been athletic, participating in track and field for three years and gymnastics for 11, but as these are both individual sports, I’ve never had the opportunity to play on a team. While high school is a great time to try lots of different activities, college requires more specificity. Students can only play on a varsity sport if they have a considerable amount of experience, and while there are clubs, the playing field is no longer as even as in high school since some people simply have more experience than others.

Intramurals, though, are a hidden gem here where previous experience is not necessary. I hadn’t played football before, and most of the women on Remember the Karpoff did not even know the rules of the game, which we found out as we went along. However, the greatest part is just playing the game. Intramural sports do not actually matter for anything greater beyond themselves as they end after the championship when the team disperses. Winning the intramural championship does not move the winner up to another level, but ends where it is. Yes, the winning team does get t-shirts and a trophy in displayed in Gosman, but the true purpose in participating is the camaraderie and teamwork.

None of us had any idea what we were doing that first game, but by the championship, not only did we coordinate complicated plays, we also became much closer friends. We didn’t win because we had the most athletes on our team. We won because we learned how to work together, take advantage of our strengths, and make up for our weaknesses.

If you haven’t tried out intramural sports at Brandeis, you are missing out on a great experience that does not require a large time commitment, any talent or any prior experience. This is an opportunity to get together with a group of friends and engage in some friendly competition. Competition naturally drives members of a team closer together in the presence of a common enemy, creating the perfect atmosphere to draw on teamwork, leadership, hard work, dedication and communication skills all necessary life skills relevant not only to everyday interactions but also important for offices and employment. The athletic world is actually a microcosm for the interactions within any office where one has to work both individually and as a team to succeed.

The t-shirts and the massive trophy that we won against all odds just go to show the necessity of breaking stereotypes and that one should never discount sports as they represent fundamental values in today’s society.