Come out and support the team

Recently I found myself sitting in the arena of UVM’s hockey team, awaiting the game against the U.S. National Team. I was angry and impatient because my parents had excitedly dragged me to the game, hoping to portray the typical college family as we sat in the stands and cheered for our Catamounts.

While my dad shook my shoulder informing me about every last hockey detail, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Why was I here? And what was I missing out on?

As I started to watch the players glide across the skating rink I became a little more intrigued, the team looked good, much to my surprise. I started asking my dad more questions, whom almost had a hemorrhage, surprised I was even watching the game.

He seemed especially grateful because moments before when asked if I would ever watch a hockey game, my only reply was, “I’m an art major.”

I looked on as our team was supported by a barely-full arena. Portions of the stands were vacant; there whole areas where I could see the deep forest green benches.

The pep band played on with incredible enthusiasm, but who were they encouraging to cheer? The few hundred people in the stands. It did make me happy to see some of my fellow collegians standing in one section of the crowd. They, besides the eager and awestruck parents, seemed to be the UVM’s main hockey supporters.

They knew all the cheers, occasionally screaming out “Go cats, go!” in unison with the pep band. Occasionally I spied Rally Cat, but even our mascot lacked excitement.

Our team was losing against the 17- and 18-year-old U.S. National Team, and I started to get embarrassed. I had come here with my parents, hoping to leave within five minutes, but then I started to enjoy what I was watching. The game was fun and I was proud, but I wasn’t so much embarrassed for my team as I was for my school.

I realized the problem was the lack of spirit and support for the hockey team. The empty seats, and small group cheering them on was all visible in every aspect of the game and fans alike. Although I was initially intent on avoiding every sport venue in school, I now encourage you all to go.

At first these things might seem dull and overrated, but it’s not just about the element of a sport, it’s about supporting our school, and the Catamounts. I promise you, go to a game, any game – hockey, basketball or Quidditch – and you won’t regret it.