And now for something completely irrelevant:
I recently ordered one of those cable sports packages. You know the ones where you pay more money to stretch your cable dollar and see more of a sport that you really like. Those of you who have ordered a sports package know that from time to time you will find a game like Northern Rhode Island School of Veterinary Sciences against Eastern Illinois Teachers’ College in the FurnitureMovers.com, Newsweek, Marlboro, Volvo, March of Dimes, Save the Spotted Owl Football Classic. The normal reaction would be, this game means nothing- why should I watch?
For those of you just joining us this season, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind all of you of what took place last spring and over the summer in the world of AU athletics and in our conference-the Colonial Athletic Association.
In April, American University announced that at the start of the 2001-02 athletic season it would play all of its games in the Patriot League (official slogan: “European countries are easier to get to than our schools”).
Not to long after that the University of Richmond decided it was going put its teams in the Atlantic 10 conference (official slogan: “We need to think of a better name because the Atlantic 11 doesn’t sound as cool”).
The CAA decides that the two defectors would join East Carolina- who was already ineligible as part of an agreement made when they announced they were moving to Conference USA- on the list of schools that are ineligible to compete for postseason glory in conference tournaments.
American University assembles a varsity legal team, which at last check had not received lettermen’s jackets, and sues the CAA for the rights to participate in conference tournaments.
Now that I have you thoroughly confused, let’s play hypothetical for a second. Let’s just say that for whatever reason the CAA wins its lawsuit and American and the others can’t play in the tournaments. The question is going to be asked, why should I watch if these games don’t matter?
I call it the Rebel Alliance.
The way the CAA (official slogan: “Why the hell did Richmond have to leave?”) has the conference tournaments setup is for the remaining six teams to play for conference crowns and for the three defecting schools to play only the regular seasons before being told to not to let the door hit you on the way out.
The key to the Alliance is disrupting the seasons of the schools remaining in the CAA. Fans of American University should also root for the University of Richmond and East Carolina to win as many games as possible (except when playing each other). Wouldn’t it be fitting if at the end of this athletic season if American, East Carolina and Richmond were in the top three spots in each sport? There would be no better way to pad that backside push from the CAA’s exit door than to leave enough asterisks in the CAA handbook to make it look like a connect-the-dots gone wrong.
Obviously playing in and winning the conference tournament is the ultimate satisfaction, but if not given that opportunity the Rebel Alliance is one heck of a Plan B.
If the Alliance is needed, there should be echoing with every “Let’s Go Eagles” a little “Rah-Rah Richmond Spiders” and “Go Pirates” for the sake of the Rebel Alliance, for the sake of chaos and for the sake of leaving a situation on your own terms- with a loud bang of disruptive satisfaction.