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Baylor athletics need same level of spirit displayed at homecoming

Nov. 11, 1997

I sat Saturday afternoon watching football on television. This is something I rarely do, especially when the game is between teams I could really care less about. But, I felt like this game had the potential to be one of those things that comes along so few times that one would want to tell the grandkids about it later, or at least everyone at school on Monday.

Nebraska, fellow Big 12 member and currently No. 1 in the country, was being beaten by the University of Missouri. Missouri was apparently having a banner year, but nonetheless, the team was not No. 1 and its lead was more significant.

Nebraska was still amazing; stunning athletic ability and teamwork were showing. But Missouri roared back louder each time. The players, truly men of unfaltering will at the time, would not give an inch nor settle for gaining only an inch. Bodily sacrifice was a common necessity for gaining any advantages.

It was truly a banner moment for NCAA football, and for sport as well. The thrill of victory was being sought by the underdog Tigers without shame.

It doesn't really matter who won; what matters is that the people in the stands were excited until the very last play of overtime. Crowd shots on the TV screen showed a sea of black and gold, juxtaposed to an ocean of red; everyone screaming their little woolen-hat-covered heads off.

I sat there watching, honestly a little jealous that those schools had, for at least three hours, one single mindset and were a homogeneous body of comrades. At the risk of looking like Aggies, I admit I wished that Baylor fans could be more like the attendees in Columbia.

How quickly I had forgotten only a week ago when we managed to defeat the University of Texas and cheered together and destroyed school property together.

I forgot we were capable of it. It took me a week to realize that even across our self-imposed barriers of race, social class, wealth and intellect we so often measure our fellow students with, we all came together for at least three hours and we all cheered with the same voice.

Texas students pshawed and frowned, calling us idiots because we tore down goalposts over one regular season win over a floundering team. So what? It's our win, we can do what we like with it.

Our win. Our team. Our school. Our celebration. Our school spirit, finally found again.

Thanks to our players, thanks to our coaches. Thanks to the student body for pulling together.

But we aren't finished. Volleyball and women's soccer are still going, as is football. Basketball, which should have another banner year, is just starting. We still have softball and baseball to go as well.

If we can start now, it will still be a good start. The games are free. Go and see your fellow students defend our school on the fields of athletic battle! Let's go break more stuff!

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