The Final Kauntdown: A football-free space
Listen, I know. It’s not fun to read the sports section right now. Was it ever? I don’t know. But that’s not the point. The most popular sport on campus, football, is not fun to watch. In fact, it’s totally unwatchable. And not just because the Rice-Southern Mississippi game was not broadcast on television this past weekend. The football team is bad. 0-5 bad. No.-1-team-in-the-ESPN-Bottom-10-rankings bad. So why would you read another article about how terrible our football team is?
Thankfully, you don’t have to. This column is a football-free space. Not a safe space, because President Leebron would not approve. A football-free space.
After all, why should you care about a winless football team when you can watch the women’s cross country team, which finished second in the Rim Rock Classic ahead of No. 26 Kansas University? Sophomore Abigail Cartwright won her second race of the season in the meet, finishing first out of a field of 89 runners. The football team still hasn’t finished first in a field of two teams—and it has had five tries. Seniors Katie Jensen and Cali Roper finished third and fifth, respectively, to round out a stellar showing from the Owls’ top three.
What is the point of watching five weeks of losses when you can watch a team that doesn’t lose? If you like wins, volleyball is the team to follow. The Owls have not been defeated since September 14 and have won 21 of their past 25 sets. And, best of all, senior Madison McDaniel was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week this week. Perhaps football’s defense, ranked dead last in Division I in yards allowed per game, could use her on the team.
Or, if you’re devoted to football, why not stick with it? Become a fan of Rice’s other football–er, well, soccer–team. The soccer team narrowly lost to Western Kentucky University on Friday and then beat the University of Southern Mississippi Sunday behind a late goal from sophomore Darcy Mickalow. The Owls managed to shut out their opponents for the third time this season as freshman goalkeeper Samantha Colley kept the Golden Eagles’ offense at bay. Football, on the other hand, let the Golden Eagles’ offense score 44 points.
If you no longer want to watch sports that take place on dry land, go ahead and root for the swim team. The team finished second in Conference USA last season and has its first meet this weekend. Most impressive of all, it already has as many wins as the football team.
And if none of these options work for you, just wait until next month. There’s only one name you need to know: Marcus Evans. He’s the one who outscored number one overall NBA draft pick Ben Simmons last season to lead all NCAA Division I freshmen in points per game. He averaged 21.4 points per game in 2015-16, or 1.2 points per game more than Rice’s football team has scored this season. This year, Evans was picked by College Sports Madness to win the Conference USA Player of the Year Award.
So I get it. I would hate to read another article about our 0-5 football team too. Our lost-in-overtime-to-North-Freaking-Texas football team. Our football team that turned its first punt of the season into its first safety of the season. But lucky for you, you didn’t have to.
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Jackson Tyner is a senior at Rice with five seasons of Division I sports experience: three years as a quarterback for football and two years as a pitcher for baseball.