The Fifth Quarter is a column written by Sports Editor Evan Neustater. The opinions expressed in the column are solely his.

As I sat in the McMurtry Commons watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of camaraderie in sports that Rice students rarely experience.

The commons’ lights were dimmed and the big game was displayed on the projector screen in HD, large enough for anyone in the room to see. Fans of both the Patriots and the Seahawks sat in the commons and glued their eyes to the screen as the servery made chicken wings, beans and nachos. 

Even fans of neither team, including myself, packed the commons to watch the game. After any big play the crowd either erupted with approval, disappointment or both. Watching the game with all those people gave us all insight on how sports can bring a community together and unite people with a common cause.

In the future, I believe Rice or the individual colleges should put in a greater effort to replicate events like this. Not just for the Super Bowl, but especially for Rice athletic events. This past football season it was almost impossible to find a group  watching a Rice football game. 

Willy’s Pub hosted a watch party for Rice’s game against the University of Notre Dame. Pub was packed with screaming fans who were all united around a desire for Rice to pull off what would have been one of the biggest upsets in school history. Even though Rice ended up losing the game, it showed that Rice students can come together under the banner of athletics and share a common interest in a goal that unites us as Rice Owls.

If Rice athletics has an away game that is televised, Rice or the colleges should show them in a common place where everyone and anyone can watch it. Far too often the student body shows apathy toward sporting events, and perhaps this can be a solution to that problem. A little school spirit can go a long way in improving our quality of life and community.